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Job Market Looks Promising for ’06

Survey finds expected increase in college-graduate hiring

By Shannon E. Flynn, Contributing Writer

This year’s graduating seniors will face a favorable job market, according to a survey of employers released last Tuesday by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

The survey polled 276 employers in the service, manufacturing, and government non-profit sectors, finding an expected 13.8 percent increase in college-graduate hiring for the Class of 2006.

Over 60 percent of surveyed employers said they plan to hire more college graduates this year, while 22.5 percent said they will hire roughly the same number of graduates.

The survey is conducted three times over the course of the academic year, each time measuring employers’ hiring expectations, according Andrea J. Koncz, who conducted the survey.

The results represent a growing trend in college-graduate hiring since 2003, the last time this annual survey found an expected decrease, Koncz said.

“With the economy improving, many companies are finally growing, resulting in increased job openings,” she added.

Employers expect to raise starting salaries by 3.7 percent in order to attract enough college graduates to fill the increasing positions, according to Koncz.

The director of the Office of Career Services, William Wright-Swadel, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Ivan Z. Corwin ’06 said he has already experienced the effects of this favorable job market. The math concentrator plans to work for a hedge fund for a year before attending graduate school.

“It was not at all a hard process to get a job,” he said. “Employers seemed very active in recruiting this year.”

Corwin said that his starting salary is $15,000 higher than the salary of last year’s college graduates at that same firm. He added that the company has hired more Harvard students than last year.

And for Randall T. Adams ’06, who is not immediately entering the job market, an increase in college-graduate hiring will positively affect his future plans. He said he plans to accept a fellowship before attending law school.

“The law-school pool should be less competitive if more people are going into the job market,” Adams said.

Although he was not familiar with the NACE survey, Adams said that he “heard things were looking promising” for his graduating class.

NACE will begin its job-outlook survey for the Class of 2007 late this summer.

While it is impossible to predict its results, Koncz said she is optimistic. “I’d like to think that this trend will continue.”

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