US: Job forecast for college seniors grimmer than ever

Smith College's career office sent its jittery job-hunting seniors a letter last month with a reassuring message: "There ARE jobs, and you can find employment." Unfortunately, there are far fewer jobs than anticipated, according to a new report from the National Association for Colleges and Employers, reports Yahoo News. The companies surveyed for the group's spring update are planning to hire 22% fewer graduates from the class of 2009 than they hired from the class of 2008, a big letdown from the group's projections in October that hiring would hold steady.

Some 44% of companies in the survey, conducted last month, said they plan to hire fewer new graduates, and another 22% said they do not plan to hire at all this spring, more than double last year's figure. "If you were a student and were out there [interviewing] in the fall, you probably had a decent chance of getting a job," says Edwin Koc, director of strategic and foundation research at NACE. "But frankly, the spring does not look good."

Job prospects for college graduates, which had been on the rise since 2004, dropped in virtually every sector this year. The most dramatic decline was, not surprisingly, in finance, which haemorrhaged 71% of expected job openings. Less expected but equally troubling, is the 37% decline in hiring for professional services, which include accounting and engineering. Government is essentially the only industry planning to hire more new graduates this year than last, as the new Administration expands and a graying workforce retires.
Full report on the Yahoo News site