Dismal job market for graduating U.S. students

Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:29pm EDT
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By Erin Kutz

BOSTON (Reuters) - Facing the worst job market in a generation, students graduating from America's universities say they are willing to do just about anything for work.

Some are taking unpaid internships, publishing blogs to document their troubles, applying to nonprofit organizations instead of more lucrative private-sector jobs or even moving back with their parents.

Mike Rubino, who studied public relations at Boston University, had never considered a career as a teacher. But as the end of his final year of college neared with the U.S. economy in a tailspin, he had a change of heart.

After watching his classmates scramble for the same limited pool of jobs, Rubino sent his resume to Teach for America, a nonprofit AmeriCorps program that enlists graduates to teach in low-income rural and urban public schools for two years.

He got the job a month before graduation.

"I realized how lucky I was that I had a guaranteed two-year salary," he said.

Only 43 percent of employers in a survey by online job website CareerBuilder.com intended to hire new college graduates this year, down from 56 percent in 2008 and 79 percent in 2007. The site surveyed about 2,500 hiring managers and human resource officials from February 20 to March 11.

The survey also showed that one in five employers plan to reduce starting salaries for college graduates from what they were last year.   Continued...

<p>A graduating student waits for the start of Harvard University's 358th Commencement Exercises in Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 4, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder</p>