(Reuters) - College seniors graduating this spring face one of the worst job markets in years, a sharp turnaround from plentiful options a few years ago for graduates.
Following are some facts on the topic.
* An April 1 survey found 60 percent of graduating college seniors have applied for a job. Of those, one in five reported landing a job, compared to one out of four from the class of 2008.
* Sixty-three percent of graduating seniors surveyed said they were worried about finding a job. Forty percent had not begun to look. Fifty-three percent said they expected to have a job within three months of graduation.
* Employers surveyed plan to hire 22 percent fewer new graduates this year compared to last year, ending a string of increased hiring dating to 2004. Forty-four percent of employers said they will hire fewer new graduates this spring than last, and 20 percent won’t hire any at all.
* Yearly salaries offered new graduates will average $48,515, down 2 percent from last year. Salaries in various engineering fields rose 2 percent to an average of $58,438.
* Of the 198 million Americans aged 25 or older, 27 percent have a college degree. College graduates earn an average of $47,000 annually, advanced degree holders average $61,000, high school grads $27,000.
* Enrollment in 2- and 4-year colleges and universities reached 20.5 million in 2006, up 3 million from 2000. Spending on post-secondary education totals $373 billion. Default rates on government-backed college loans from the 2006-2007 fiscal year hit a high of 6.9 percent.
* Americans aged 19-29 are at the highest risk of not having health insurance coverage. Young adults account for 13 million of the 47 million uninsured.
(Sources: National Association of Colleges and Employers, U.S. Census Bureau, National Conference of State Legislatures, FinAid.com)
Reporting by Andrew Stern, editing by Philip Barbara