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Hot job market awaits 2019 college graduates

May 11, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — College graduates will be hitting a hot job market this spring if they’re ready to begin their careers, counselors and recruiters said.

“The market’s pretty phenomenal for our students right now,” said Bill Watts, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s director of advising and career services. He said graduates have better chances this year to land good jobs than he’s seen in 20 years.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers said last month that hiring of college graduates will go up 10.7% this year from last year, the Omaha World-Herald reported .

The United States’ unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent last month, Nebraska’s to 2.8% and Iowa’s to 2.4%. That means there’s a comparatively small supply of prospective employees available, workforce experts said.

The Nebraska Labor Department estimated recently that the state will have 21,410 annual openings through 2026 in high-skill, high-wage, high-demand jobs requiring at least a bachelor’s degree.

College career directors said their job fairs have boomed. Watts said the Lincoln fair has moved from the city campus student union to Pinnacle Bank Arena because so many businesses and organizations come.

Creighton University had a waiting list for businesses for its career fair last fall, said Jeremy Fisher, Creighton’s career center director. And the Iowa State agriculture career day in February drew 277 companies and organizations, which tied the Cyclones’ record, said Mike Gaul, head of career services for Iowa State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Engineering and computer science grads are highly prized by many employers, but advisers said liberal arts majors can maximize their chances by exhibiting their ability to think critically, communicate and work with teams as well as getting work experience.

Natalie Knott, of Louisville, will graduate from Hastings College with a double major: business administration and marketing. She said she had 18 job interviews — more than one with some companies — and received two offers. She took a job with NRC Health, a Lincoln-based consumer researcher for hospitals.

“It’s such a relief to have it done,” she said of the job hunt. “I’ve had a plan and a vision of what I wanted to do.”

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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