Tough Job Market for Students

March 11, 2009 6:51:49 PM PDT
Many college students are learning first hand ... it's a tough job market out there. According to a study by the National Association for Colleges and Employers, companies expect to hire 22-percent fewer graduates from the class of 2009, than they hired last year. With the economy as bad as it is-- having a college degree, does not guarantee you a higher paying job ... or even a job at all.Several of the employers at the Spring Job Fair at Fresno City College were taking applications, but not hiring. Students are also finding that with so many "older" people out of work, competition is tougher than ever.

The cafeteria at Fresno City College was packed with students looking for work ... but this year, they had fewer company reps to impress. Only 30 employers set up booths down from about 60 the year before, and most did not have immediate job openings. "This is the first time that I've seen that we haven't had a job posted that we could tell them to apply for," said Paul Zarasua, a recruiter for the Fresno Police department.

The longest line at today's job fair was for fast food restaurants KFC and Wendy's, who were conducting interviews on site. "It's money. Its money-- and if I save up enough, then I'm able to get what I'm able to get," said 19-year old student Jomita Taylor.

Many students are settling for minimum wage jobs. Mary Beth Wynn, interim coordinator at FCC's Employment Resource Center says a lack of experience is making the job search even harder for students. "It's tough-- very tough, especially for a 19 year old compared to a 30 year old who's been out there working a couple of years." She recommends students get their foot in the door through internships. Several recruiters, including the Fresno police department were offering free training or other non-paid positions. Officer Zarasua said, "Getting a free position-- working as an intern, or a voluntary person it's a great opportunity for people."

A great opportunity that unfortunately Erica Calderon cannot afford. The student and mother of two was laid off last December and is getting desperate. She said, "I pretty much don't know what I'm going to do. My expenses are going to be covered 'til April-- but after that-- if I don't find a job ... "

One industry that seems to be fairing a bit better than most is the medical field. "Golden Living"-- a skilled nursing facility have 25 positions open and available at its various locations throughout the Valley.

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