Graduates’ Chances at a Job Steadily Improve

New college grads may at least have a fighting chance to get jobs this year.

After two years of bleak prospects, there’s a flicker of hope for the Class of 2011 as national projections show the job market may be opening up.

Hiring for the class of 2011 is expected to be up 13 percent to 14 percent compared with last year, according to two polls. One conducted in the fall by the National Association of Colleges and Employers had 197 employer respondents. Another in February had 112, said Edwin Koc, director of research.

Those national figures are consistent with the anecdotal evidence seen so far this year by Mike Caldwell, director of the Career Center at Westminster College of Salt Lake City. “Compared to last year, the number of job postings in our career center are up 70 percent, including internships,” he said.

In March 2008, before the economic collapse, Career Center postings totaled 408. The next two years they dropped to 234 and 231, respectively. This year, Caldwell said, they have rebounded to 397.

Still, he added, there “seems to be some apprehension among employers. A lot are tentative. They have tentative plans for hiring, but they’re not posting multiple positions.”

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