Finding jobs in a struggling economy

Feb. 16, 2009 by Dustin Edwards Original Round Up article

With bleak reports of job loss in nearly all labor sectors, the ailing economy continues to slash employment opportunities for college graduates.

The unemployment rate increased to 3.7 percent for those who hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher, which is up 1.7 percent from one year ago, an economic report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site indicated.

Sean McCleneghan, an academic adviser and journalism and mass communications professor, said he advised undergraduate students to pursue higher education.

“This economy is brutal,” McCleneghan said. “This is the time to continue in college.”

McCleneghan said he advised students to meet with a graduate advisor and learn about the requirements to earn an assistantship for graduate school.

“You’re not going to get a high-paying job in this economy,” he said. “Get paid to go to school.”

He said economic stimulus packages are going to allot more money for individuals who wish to continue in school. However, with fewer people landing jobs directly after graduation, McCleneghan said to expect more people pursuing degrees past the baccalaureate level.

Meanwhile, some NMSU students said they remain optimistic, despite the economic downturn.

“I’m very optimistic,” Stephan Courter, a senior international business student said. “During the recession and during economic crises there are always opportunities.”

Courter said he just got a job setting up a point-of-sales system for a local business and added “there are always investments” during a recession.

Bailey Walter, a junior business management and accounting major, said she will remain optimistic about finding a job in the current economic climate.

“I want to work for a non-profit company,” Walter said. “I think I will have a job when I get out of school, but I don’t know if I will have a job in that field.”

Walter said she eventually plans to attend graduate school, but not immediately following graduation.

“I’m not too worried about finding a job,” said Ashley Blackwell, a junior criminal justice and biology student.

However, since the start of the recession in December 2007, a reported 3.6 million jobs have been lost, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site. And nearly half of the job losses have been within the past three months.

Among a reported 598,000 jobs lost during January, only two employment divisions, education and health services and government, bolstered higher employment numbers than in December, the report indicated.

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