Job market for new grads: Much hiring but much competition

Virus Outbreak College Seniors

After a painful year of joblessness, the future has finally brightened for Alycia St. Germain, a 22-year-old college senior at the University of Minnesota.

Having lost a part-time gig at Barnes and Noble last March as the viral pandemic tore through the U.S. economy, she was left unemployed like tens of millions of other Americans. But now, St. Germain has a job lined up — with benefits — even before graduation and in her chosen field of developmental psychology. A family friend established a new child-care center in St. Paul, and St. Germain landed a job as an assistant in the infant room.

“This," she said, “is probably the most positive thing that could happen.”

Not all new college grads will find a job so quickly. But collectively, this year's graduating class is poised for better prospects than were the 2020 seniors, who had the misfortune to graduate into the depths of the brutal coronavirus recession. Though the competition will be stiff — this year's graduates will have to compete, in many cases, with 2020 graduates who are still seeking their first full-time job — employers are ramping up hiring. And many are desperate for workers.

On Friday, the government reported that employers added just 266,000 jobs in April,