Economists say the United States is not in a recession, but many companies seem to be bracing for one.
With numerous companies announcing massive layoffs and others on hiring freezes, the class of 2023 is getting ready to enter an uncertain job market.
“I’ve been looking for jobs for quite awhile,” said Loyola University senior Samer Yacaman. “I’ve sent out countless applications. It’s been tough.”
College career counselors tell Fox News there are jobs out there, but the market remains tight post-pandemic.
“Students need to prepare themselves for that competitive market,” said Sarah Covert, the interim director of operations for the Career Management Center at Tulane University’s business school.
However, Covert said the class of 2023 is in a much better position than graduates entering the workforce at the peak of the pandemic.
“In 2020, that was a major year for us not knowing what was going to happen,” Covert said. “We didn’t see a lot of rescinded offers, but there were a lot of students who had their start dates pushed back. We’re not seeing any of that happening so far for our students.”
Covert said there are about 1,500 employers that have at least one job posting in Tulane’s system and at least 5,000 full time jobs that are posted currently.
Meanwhile, in the last six months, companies including Amazon, Disney, Meta and Walmart have announced mass layoffs, cutting a combined 25,000 jobs. And there are numerous other companies doing the same.
Covert knows students might be anxious seeing these layoffs, but said many of these companies are still looking for entry-level hires.
“Companies are trying to save money,” Covert said. “They know they can get entry-level candidates to come in and give their all, and they’re not going to be as expensive as some of the higher up hires.”
“It’s a lot of conflicting messaging for upcoming graduates” said Katie Krikorian, the Director of Career Development at Loyola University. “Seeing news of the layoffs, the job-seeker might think that is happening in every industry, but that is not the case.”
Krikorian said industries such as hospitality, tourism, education and health care are all bulking up their staffing.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) also has good news for upcoming graduates. Its latest report says companies plan to hire about 4% more grads from the class of 2023 than they did from the class of 2022. However, this projection is down from its previous report. In the fall, employers predicted a 14.7% increase, according to NACE.
“It’s a different job market, but it’s not a grim market,” Krikorian said. “There are still ample opportunities for this generation to find meaningful opportunities.”
Student loan payments are also expected to resume soon, so many students say job security and income is a top priority in their job search.
“Prices for everything are still going up, and I have to find a way to pay my financial obligations and sustain myself, so hopefully I find that job quickly,” Yacaman said.