217,000 jobs were added in May of this year, the fourth consecutive month where at least 200,000 jobs were gained. The last time a streak of this magnitude occurred, Bill Clinton was president. The slew of economic reports making headlines recently have been mostly positive. We now have gained back all the jobs lost during the recession, and are beginning to make positive ground. However, not all the statistics are rosy. Despite the added jobs, our unemployment rate has not budged – job growth has been outdone by population growth. Furthermore, the labor participation rate has seen no growth and remains at a historical low. These numbers are tricky to decipher, because it’s tough to say how many people are giving up the job search versus how many baby boomers are opting for early retirement.
One thing is clear, however. The job market for college graduates is getting stronger. Employers are planning on hiring 9% more graduates compared to last year, and paying on average 1.2% more in salary. The biggest beneficiaries of graduate employment growth are the so called “STEM” majors: science, technology, engineering and math. These majors are having no problems finding work, where some of the liberal arts majors haven’t seen as significant of a gain in the job market. Overall, things are looking up for our economy, and our graduates.