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Study Says US College Graduates Have Bright Job Outlook

A recent study shows that U.S. employers are planning to hire more new college graduates, including foreign students, this year than 2006. But as VOA's Sean Maroney reports from New York, the job search is not getting any easier for recent graduates.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports in its "2007 Job Outlook" survey that employers plan to hire nearly 20 percent more new college graduates than they did last year.

NACE's Andrea Koncz says several factors are contributing to this trend.

"Number one is just the overall economy is better," said Andrea Koncz. "They have more positions available to new college graduates. Their companies are growing."

And according to the survey, companies are demanding more diversity. Almost a third of responding employers plan to hire international students for full-time permanent positions in 2007. By employment sector, manufacturers are the most interested in hiring these graduates, followed by service employers and government/nonprofit groups.

The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that nearly 1.5 million college students graduated this year. Not all of them will get their dream jobs.

Joe George is a May graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He says he is still looking for a job as a video coordinator for a college or professional sports team.

"Sitting around and waiting is not very encouraging," said Joe George. "But at the same time, several of my friends are in the same position as me where they don't know where they're going. So that kind of made it a little more reassuring."

Koncz says recent graduates should not give up in their search for jobs. She says employers increasingly look for young people like George and his friends.

"They are anticipating the retirements of the 'baby boomers' [people born after World War II], so they especially want to fill those openings with new college graduates to get some new blood, some new life into their companies," she said.

In the meantime, George, who has been living with his parents, says he must strike on his own.

"It's just I feel like they've supported me long enough," he said. "I'm really trying to find something where I can get out and support myself. I don't like putting anymore of a burden on them."

Employers in the South expect the biggest increase in hiring recent graduates in the United States. So it's no surprise that Joe George is traveling to the southern state of Florida this week to interview with some potential employers.