The approximately 1.7 million college graduates who are entering the workforce this summer are in for an exciting time. Unlike the graduating classes of the past few years, the class of 2012 is facing a job market that is filled with more certainty and renewed optimism. The anxiety of a long four years has been replaced with a general sigh of relief.
For the past four years of the Great Recession, as some pundits style the recent economic downturn, these students have existed in a type of bubble, protected on college campuses from threats of layoffs and career upheaval. Though protected, they were not unaware of what was happening beyond the campus gates. With gentle pushes from many colleges, students participated in internships and experiential learning, all with an eye towards jumping into a career, and learning the up-to-date technical skills and business development-savvy that continue to be in demand.
During the economic slump, many companies across all industries have implemented hiring freezes, meaning that fewer workers were tasked with doing the same amount of work. Combine that with an overall reluctance to bring on new employees – especially if there was the chance of layoffs or internal realignments – and it signaled a period of stagnation in hiring and in job mobility, for people moving laterally and moving up the corporate ladder.
A recent employer survey from NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, cites that employers plan to offer, on average, a starting salary that is 4.5 percent higher for the class of 2012 than for the class of 2011. What’s more, employers are expecting to hire approximately 10.2 percent more from the crop of 2012 graduates than those of last year. Salary and number of hires are two key indicators that signal a strong market for those donning a cap and gown this spring.
An economic upturn means that businesses no longer have to be so fearful of expansion, or of bringing on new staff to meet demands for production or services. As more workers have the confidence to move up or to move on into new positions, more room is being made for new graduates who are looking to get their feet in the door.
Olympic Staffing is prepared to help employers take advantage of the talent in this new class of graduating college students. Call our office today to find out how we can serve you.