Entry-Level Job Competition Remains Fierce

April 26, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com)-Although 2004 college graduates see a slightly improved job market from that which the 2003 graduates faced, MonsterTRAK's annual graduation survey of college students, recent graduates and the employers who will be hiring them reveals that only 10% of this year's graduating class has secured a job.

About half (51%) of college seniors are not optimistic, they do not anticipate receiving any job offers when they graduate, a decrease from the 53% of last year’s class, but a significant increase from the 23% recorded in 2001. Aware that they are also competing with the 35% of last year’s class that has yet to find employment, only 12% of 2004 graduates think they face a better job market than did college seniors last year.

MonsterTRAK, a division of Monster, an online careers site, also found that more than half (57%) of graduates plan to move back in with their parents, joining the 50% of 2003 grads that are still living at home and 16% are going to graduate school.

Offshoring was a larger concern for 2003 graduates, with 44% worried that it will affect their chances of getting employment, while about one-third (34%) of 2004 graduates felt the same.

Companies are beginning to hire, however, MonsterTRAK shows. Seventy-three percent of employers surveyed report plans to hire entry level workers during the spring or summer of 2004. Additionally, about half (51%) of employers anticipate offering an average starting salary over $30,000 for entry-level workers, an increase from the 42% of employers recorded last year.

Sales, with 27% of all current entry-level jobs, was, by far, the sector with the most job opportunities. The rest of the top four were Administrative and Support Services (10%), Health care (7%), and Customer Service and Call Center (6%).

According to MonsterTRAK data, the states with the most entry-level job opportunities are

  • California (15%)
  • Florida (7%)
  • Texas (6%)
  • New York (6%)
  • Illinois (5%),

while the top cities for entry-level employment are

  • Los Angeles (7%)
  • New York City (7%)
  • Philadelphia (5%)
  • Boston (4%)
  • Chicago (4%).