By Desiree Taylor
The Rutgers University career fair drew an estimated 2,500 job seekers to the New Brunswick campus. More than 190 employers representing private and public companies participated in the day long event, significantly more than last year according to Janet Jones, the Interim Director at Rutgers Career Services. “It’s encouraging to see such a diverse range of industries,” said Jones.
Also encouraging is a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers that shows employers plan to hire 10 percent more college graduates in 2012 than last year. “We’ve seen students coming in with multiple job offers,” said Jones. “So things look better than in recent years.”
But college graduates still face fierce competition, not only with their peers but also with older more experienced workers who were laid off during the height of the recession. Regina Scarinci, a single mom in her mid 40s, has been looking for a job for nearly a year. “Most people I know are out of work, so it’s tough,” said Scarinci. “They’re losing their homes. It’s scary.”
But this class of graduates seems more prepared to compete in a tight job market. They’ve seen previous graduates struggle to find jobs so they know the best way to compete is to do internships and network. Still their job search could be challenging, especially since the number of job seekers may increase soon because 36,000 New Jerseyans are expected to lose their extended unemployment benefits in July.