Job market news: More recruiters than ever are checking out Western grads for new hires
By Mary Lane Gallagher
There's more to the job outlook for this spring's graduates than the picture painted by the gloomiest headlines about the economy.
"Yes, there are some sectors that are definitely weakened. That's what we're hearing so much about in the news," said Tina Loudon, director of Western's Career Services Center.
"But the broader context sometimes gets lost," she said.
- Western's spring job fair drew the highest number of recruiters ever - 102.
- Many industries, including utilities, education and other government sectors, are scrambling for workers to replace a wave of retirees.
- Employers said they planned to hire 8 percent more new graduates this spring than they hired last spring, according to a recent survey on college recruiting.
That said, the "Job Outlook 2008" survey, published in March by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, did show that employers have scaled back their growth plans from the previous fall, when they had planned to hire 16 percent more newly minted college graduates than the previous spring.
And the construction and finance industries, hard-hit by the crisis in home foreclosures, reported plans to hire fewer graduates than they at this time last year.
Other sectors, though, appear to be boosting the number of people hired out of college. Utilities, government and non-profits all reported double-digit growth in new-graduate hiring.
But overall, the report said, this spring's graduates will see fewer companies competing for them than they would have seen in previous years.
It's really too early to say for sure what Western's graduates will face this summer, Loudon said. But she sees some promising signs.
"We have seen virtually no decrease in recruiting activity," Loudon said. "The employers that are coming could be expecting to hire fewer people, but they're still on campus."