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April 30, 2003
Graduates Feeling Optimistic
Reports of a gloomy employment market for this year's graduates of America's universities don't seem to have some seniors concerned, the Boston Globe reports. Many feel they have options, from job opportunities to graduate school to moving in with their parents to wait out the downturn.

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Some are optimistic that internships will help them in securing jobs, even in an anemic hiring environment. One student says he has sent out a few resumes, adding that he isn't worried about having difficulty finding work, the newspaper reports. Economists say there is reason to be concerned, though.

''This is a pretty inhospitable job market for anybody coming in,'' says Jared Bernstein, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. ''Right now, nationally, there are 9 million unemployed people and only 3 million job vacancies. Having a sheepskin isn't changing that equation that much. In fact, one of the unfortunate characteristics of this jobless recovery is that it's hurting everybody, including college graduates.''

A survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that firms plan to bring in approximately the same number of new college graduates this year as they did last year. An earlier survey from the organization found that employers projected a 3.6-percent decline.

While some members of the class of 2003 will test the employment market, others are heading back to school. MonsterTRAK found through a poll that 16 percent of graduating seniors plan to enter graduate school. MonsterTRAK also found that over half of respondents to a poll do not expect to receive any job offers when they graduate from university, compared with 23 percent in 2001. In addition, 61 percent expected to move back in with their parents after graduation.

''Students are much more open to moving back with Mom and Dad,'' says Sherry Kravitsky, director of the Career Education Center at Simmons College in Boston. ''Last year and the year before, they were talking about going to New York City or remaining here. Now, they seem to be more mindful of family ties. They're also considering graduate school. Last year, 21 percent of the graduating class was looking at graduate school. Now, about 33 percent are considering it.''


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