College Grads Try To Find Jobs In Tough Economy

By: Christine Kennedy
By: Christine Kennedy

Graduation at East Carolina University is next Friday and over 3,500 students will be handed their purple and gold diploma--but with the job market at its worst in over 30 years, where will graduates go?

According to, 22 percent of all employers across America are cutting their hiring of college graduates. To make matters worse, North Carolina’s unemployment rate rose to 10.8 in March.

Brittany Norman is one of 3,561 students graduating from ECU this year. Norman says she has been trying for months to land her first job in counseling.

"With the economy the way it is, it's stressful. I mean it's really tough to try and find a job now."

Norman, like many students sought guidance from the university’s career center. Director Jim McAtee says he’s been “extremely busy” working with students. He and his staff developed a program called the, H.I.R.E.D (Helping Individuals Reach Employment Destination) program. Over 1,000 students have gone through this program, which allows students to participate in mock interviews.

McAtee says even though the job market is tough, college grads have a couple advantages.

“There are bonuses for companies to hire recent grads--one of them is training. They can train them the way they want to train them. They're flexible, and not only that, quite honestly…someone who has 10 years of experience is going to be paid a little bit differently that someone fresh out of college."

East Carolina University will hold its commencement ceremony on Friday, May 8th inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

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