Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Outlook optimistic for those on the job hunt

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Outlook optimistic for those on the job hunt
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A new survey from the National Association for Business Economics shows that recent grads, and the economy as a whole, could catch a break in the new year. Our Sarah Blazonis stopped by SUNY Oswego's Saturday commencement to see what prospects are like for students there.

OSWEGO, N.Y. -- For more than 500 students at SUNY Oswego, Saturday was a day of celebration.

"It's awesome. I'm at a loss for words," said Branden Kuzel, one of the graduates and a technology management major.

"It feels like the best thing ever. You know how many labs I had to go through to get here?" said Anais Torres, who studied zoology and plans to attend grad school.

But crossing that stage also meant stepping into the real world.

"I'm currently applying for a long-term sub position. I do a demo lesson next week, so I hope I'm getting that position," said Briana LaRocca, who majored in adolescent education.

A report from the National Association for Business Economics shows that the search might not be as difficult for recent grads as it's been in the past. The group's latest outlook predicts an average of 197,000 jobs will be created monthly in 2014. Unemployment is expected to dip nationwide from 7.5 percent to 7 percent.

SUNY Oswego faculty said they've seen evidence of the warming economy among their students.

"In the past few months-to-years, it's been getting a little bit better as employment's getting better, so more and more students are reporting jobs sooner," said Jessica Reeher, the advisement coordinator for communication studies.

Oswego's career services office said this year saw a 47 percent increase in the amount of companies interviewing students on campus. About 90 percent are working full time or attending grad school one year after graduation. Some professors said this may have something to do with a nationwide trend.

"When you look at the demographics, a lot of people are at retirement age, and so we expect, in New York State, that there will be a lot more jobs in all of the areas," said Pamela Michel, interim dean for the School of Education.

Some students are still cementing their future plans.

"I want to pursue happiness, and I think having a couple degrees will help me get to that goal," said Kuzel, who plans to attend grad school.

The recent outlook might give those headed right into a job hunt an extra reason to celebrate.

The survey also mentioned that the economy will likely face challenges in 2014. Those include the continued affects of sequestration cuts.

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