The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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October 6, 2012

Officials: Hiring demand appears to be increasing

CLINTON — The National Association of Colleges and Employers recently delivered good news to the upcoming class of 2013 college graduates.

Employers expect to hire 13 percent more new college graduates from the class of 2013 than they did from the class of 2012, a new study shows. For college graduates and job seekers in Clinton, this study comes at a time when hiring seems to be on the rise in the area.   

Each year NACE, the Bethlehem, Penn.-based nonprofit that connects college career offices with employers, surveys its employer members about their hiring plans and other employment-related issues.  

Of the 244 employers surveyed, many expressed a particular interest in business, computer science and engineering graduates, NACE executive director Marilyn Mackes said in a written statement.

While there does seem to be a growing need for employees in Clinton, the trend does not necessarily indicate the need is for college graduates specifically.

 “It does seem regionally the demand for employment is starting to increase,” Clinton Regional Development Corporation President Steven Ames said.

“We’re seeing a demand for high-tech backgrounds, but on the other end, employers are looking to fill industrial jobs.”

Susan Watkins, with All-Star Staffing in Clinton, said her agency has seen an increase from employers seeking employees across the board.  

“We’ve seen an influx on all needs,” Watkins said. “Looking at the hiring trends, it seems they (employers) are trying to build their workforce.”

Watkins said she’s seen several employers searching for operation managers, engineers and employees to work in accounting and business.  

Although seemingly not the trend in Clinton, based on data from the national Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increased level of education could be advantageous for those searching for employment.

In August, 8.8 percent of individuals with a high school diploma were unemployed while 6.6 percent of those with some college or an associate degree were unemployed. During the same time period, individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher had a 4.1 percent unemployment rate.  

In other good news for prospective graduates, 37.6 percent of survey respondents said they have firm recruiting plans in place, up from 34.4 percent in spring 2012.

This recruitment might not have begun in Clinton, but officials from Clinton Community College anticipate entrance into the job market will be easier for this year’s graduating class.

Marcus Harris, an academic and career service advisor at Clinton Community College, said he expects the 2013 graduates to have an easier time securing employment than the class of 2012, partially because they will be more prepared for the workforce.

“I think the projections is accurate, but at this point, we haven’t seen those projections come to fruition yet,” Harris said.

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