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Friday, October 30, 1998
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 49

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Job market is strong for this year's graduates

Reports show that hiring is on the rise locally and nationally

By Aaron Johnson
News Reporter 

Students preparing to graduate this year should have little difficulty finding a job, according to polls and surveys from Job Outlook and the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Job Outlook surveys show that nearly 70 percent of employers plan to hire more new graduates by the end of the 1997-98 academic year than they did last year.

According to a report by Bill Gilmer, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank, 1997 saw local employment grow at a rate of 4.7 percent, with 87,000 new jobs. The average unemployment rate was 4.3 percent for the first three months of 1998, lower than last year's record-breaking 4.6 percent.

Lorin Wright, a career counselor at University Career Services, said the job market in Houston is especially favorable to UH students.

"The economy is still going strong, and the job market is more diversified," Wright said.

In fact, Wright said the career center still sees a great deal of employers interested in UH graduates.

Wright said students who graduate from UH have an advantage over students from other colleges in acquiring jobs in Houston because the proximity of the college to the city.

"The University is more accessible to employers," Wright said.

With a strong job market in Houston, Wright said, a majority of students stay in the city after graduation rather than choosing to seek job opportunities in other states.

"Students from UH don't have to be convinced to re-locate," Wright said.

A poll conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that, of 106 career service counselors from across the United States, 76 percent saw an increase in the number of on-campus interviews and 83 percent said more jobs were posted in their offices.

Another 80 percent had responded to increased résumé requests from employers.

Several of the career centers said employers scheduled on-campus interviews six or more months in advance to ensure a hearing with the best candidates.

The quarterly NACE Salary Survey found high-tech industries are searching for students with degrees in computer science, electrical engineering and computer information systems.

The survey found that financial and banking institutions are searching for students majoring in economics, accounting, management information systems and marketing.

Liberal arts students are finding jobs in diverse industries, such as accounting, consulting, merchandising, social services and with health-service firms, as well as in local and state governments.

The NACE is the leading source of information for human resource professionals who recruit and hire college graduates. It surveys hiring plans, starting salaries and other issues related to the employment of college graduates.

The Job Outlook survey is an annual forecast of the hiring intentions relating to new college graduates.
 

Reach Johnson at
jdp14610@bayou.uh.edu.
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