Recession hinders some college graduates while others left facing little implications

By Liz Garrett
April 24, 2008

Liz Garrett/Asst. News Editor

With unemployment numbers up to 5.1 percent, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report, graduating seniors are facing a tougher job market but some employers are still hiring.

Some businesses are laying off workers, while other employers say they are continuing to hire, according to interviews with human resource departments and published reports.

As for Cabrini, it appears that the economic slowdown has not been severely affecting seniors looking for jobs this spring.

This financial crisis in the news is the culprit for layoffs. Unemployment, now up to 7.8 million people, is slowing down hiring. According to JobWeb, a Web site specializing in career-search advice, even though the overall hiring outlook is still not considered negative, it has gone downhill since fall 2007.

However, not all company recruiters are following the crowd in cutting off the hiring of college graduates.

Lincoln Financial Group, a financial services company located right in Radnor, is an example of a business that is going against the trend. “The hiring has not slowed down. The markets always go up and down and it does not look like the recession has any effect on hiring,” Deborah Brean, corporate and public affairs at Lincoln, said. “It is important for the company to hire college graduates because the diversity of talent is always needed.”

JobWeb said that 44 percent of recruiters admitted to being negatively affected by the recession and have postponed the hiring of graduates. On the other hand, 48 percent of employers answered that there was no change in hiring.

“I attend many of the area job and career fairs and employers have been telling me that they are definitely looking to hire at the entry level,” Nancy Hutchison, director of cooperative education and career services at Cabrini, said. “We had 55 employers at the Intercollegiate Career Fair, and over 90 at the Non-Profit Career Fair at St. Joseph’s University on April 10.”

“It is hard for a company to lay off its employees and then turn around and hire new college graduates,” Mary Harris, business department chair at Cabrini, said.

“As for our May graduates, I only have three finance graduates this year and one already has a job, the other has several interviews lined up and the third has not started his search rigorously yet.”

Iacobucci Homes, a building company located in Havertown, Pa., shows how real estate is significantly affected by the recession. “Unfortunately, we had to reduce our entire staff both in the main office and the field by 30 to 35 percent because our home sales are down,” Raymond Iacobucci, senior vice president of land acquisition and development for Iacobucci Homes, said.

The crash of the housing and financial markets is the clearest consequence of what can happen when the economy is in a rough period.

“The recession is very difficult for our business because as the general economy slows and people become concerned about their jobs they lose confidence in buying new homes,” Iacobucci said. “As in the past, the housing industry started to slow down before the general economy.”

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Liz Garrett

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