After a year of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool the job market, private sector hiring slowed down in March As the company’s salaries increased by only 145,000. With the job market tightening, it’s not so easy to get your foot in the door, especially if you’re soon graduating from college or a recent graduate.
some companies They limit their plans for employment recent graduates or cut training programmes, and the Unemployment rate for university graduates Between the ages of 20 and 24 recently registered 4.6%, double its level at the end of 2024. Moreover, Student loan repayments are expected to resume soonso for many, finding a stable source of income is a top priority.
Lindsey Ellis Wall Street Journal reporter. She joins Rima Khreis from Marketplace to talk about it What is it like for the class of 2023 to enter the labor market now. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Rima Khreis: So you’ve been talking to soon-to-be college graduates about their job prospects, about how it feels. What kinds of stories do you hear?
Lindsey Ellis: Yes, it was a range. I spoke with a student who applied for between 50 and 100 positions. It’s at Texas A&M, and it hasn’t really gotten a lot of traction. I’ve also talked to other students who, you know, may have succeeded or gotten some interviews, but it’s not exactly in the specific field or role that they had in mind when they first started looking for work. One of the things I’ve been hearing is that students are more willing to cast a wider net in response to some of the work and job news we’ve all been catching up on lately. And so while I think — to take a step back — there are jobs, it’s a longer journey than many soon-to-be college graduates would like.
Kharis: Yes, I hear similar things. I actually have a brother, he’s a much younger brother, he’s graduating from college this year. He is struggling to find a job. It’s just a weird time in the economy, right? Like, just the last couple of days of the show, we’ve been reporting on how hot this job market is, but now we’re seeing a bit of a slowdown. It causes you injury. Which is complicated because it doesn’t mean that employment across the board is waning, right?
Ellis: Yes. I mean, I think that was said really well. And as you know, the unemployment rate is very low. But the broader context is here [is that] Many of the companies that typically employ these individuals have laid off several thousand workers over the past few months. And this means that while there are still jobs, recent graduates will compete not only with each other, but with many people at the very beginning of their careers who are suddenly out of work. And so I think that dynamic makes things a little bit more complicated.
Kharis: We know that the first job out of college can be very crucial to starting your climb up the career ladder. What kind of long-term impact might we see from this?
Ellis: It’s a great question. You know, there’s been some research on graduates who enter the workforce in a recession and their earnings lag behind graduates who don’t enter a recession. But the United States is technically not in a recession right now, so I think that’s kind of speculative at this point.
Kharis: Yes. And I want to touch briefly on student loans. The moratorium is about to expire. How much of a factor do you think this is for recent graduates as they look for jobs?
Ellis: So when I talk to young professionals and students, you know, salary is definitely high on the list of areas that really matter to them. But many graduates are really looking for a company that will provide stability. And yes, I mean, paycheck is key — especially for those who’ve taken on debt and will need to start paying those loans back. But the alumni I spoke with really hope to make it to a company [where] I hope they are safe from layoffs or contractions.
Kharis: Given what we know — I mean, there’s obviously a lot we don’t know about what’s to come — what’s your advice to recent graduates or soon-to-be graduates?
Ellis: I’m not really in the consulting business. But I will say, you know, the alumni that I’ve talked to, they’re working really hard to get the top spot. I mean, just work on any possible contact to get a foot in the door or to get a conversation going. And others, you know, we’re seeing all these LinkedIn posts from people who’ve been laid off recently and those are getting traction. So some soon-to-be grads do the same thing, saying, “Hey, graduation is coming up. That’s where my research is.” One person I spoke to said such a viral post could lead to contacts with alumni or recruits.
Kharis: “hire me!”
Ellis: Yes, exactly what you said. “Hire me, please!”
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