College Grads Face Tough Job Market in 2009


Seniors graduating from college this year will get diplomas, but they may not get jobs. Employers expect to hire 22 percent fewer new graduates from the college class of 2009 than they hired from the class of 2008, according to a new study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

The latest numbers also differ significantly from the fall, when employers’ hiring projections looked flat.

“Earlier, employers indicated that they expected to keep their new college graduate hiring levels even with last year,” Marilyn Mackes, the association’s executive director, said in a statement. “Our current survey shows that college hiring is as affected by the economy as other types of hiring.”

The drop in anticipated college hiring is part of an overall slack labor market, which has worsened rapidly amid the recession.

The expected decline in new-grad hires was prompted by the deteriorating economic situation, said the association, a professional group that forecasts trends in the job market.

“More than two-thirds of employers said the economic situation forced them to re-evaluate their college hiring plans, and nearly all of those said they have decreased their planned number of hires,” Mackes said.

The projected drop is likely to mean a sharp decline in employer activity on campuses this spring as well, with 66 percent of employers responding to the survey reporting plans to lower or eliminate spring hiring.

The latest association study also ends a string of positive hiring reports for new college graduates dating back to 2004. Students graduating in the early part of the millennium experienced major drops at the hands of the dot-com bust and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Hiring decreased 36 percent for the class of 2002 but steadied for the class of 2003 before rebounding in 2004.

Employers also seem cautious about the near future. More than 46 percent said they are unsure about their hiring plans for fall 2009, and 17 percent are already reporting that they expect to trim their college hiring further.

3 responses to “College Grads Face Tough Job Market in 2009

  1. Well, the math is not hard. The US produces approximately 1.5 million degrees a year from 10,000 colleges and universities. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-16 million people out of work. If you can believe the under count. An estimate of 18-20 thousand jobs were created. Employers will be using people with degrees to flip hamburgers. Want fries with that degree? Maybe a hot apple pie to go with that cap and gown? As an individual with several degrees and looking for work. I can definitely state the job market has been deteriorating since 2006. Some people claim since 2003. Especially, those in the physical sciences such as mathematics and engineering. False advertisements to students all hyped up by colleges and universities. The engineering technologies, computer technologies, nano technologies, green technologies, etc. You won\’t be unemployed. You will never have to look for work again. Heard it all. The same propaganda continues to flow.
    A person with a degree is lucky if he is employed 5-10 years in his area study then brushed aside and pushed out of the statistics. The present lack of jobs in the US is not because of an under educated population. This is about politics and free trade agreements. Which boil down to employment agreements where jobs are given or
    outsourced to other countries.

    • Sam,

      Thank you for your comments and your thoughts. It is hard to argue with your statements, there are a lot of people with degrees holding jobs that are entry level – and that was even in “the good times”. I have at times been outspoken about how some colleges promote potential earning and or future career opportunities, if they get a degree from them. The job market is always changing and education takes awhile to catch up to what is needed. Colleges are starting to get better at switching to what is needed in the job market. But, no career will ever be a sure thing.

      Thanks again!

  2. I feel sorry for the 2009 Grads. But here is a job idea for them.

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