New job numbers are showing just how competitive the employment market is right now, especially for recent grads. YNN’s Lori Chung has more on what experts say students can do to get a leg up on other job seekers.
UNITED STATES -- "It's very tough, I mean, it's definitely discouraging," said Dajuan Walker, UAlbany senior.
Many college seniors preparing to enter a stagnant job market, are now also considering a plan B.
"Go straight into law school, continue on for three of four years, and I'm hoping by that time that the job market picks up," said Walker.
The U.S. added 80,000 jobs in June, far lower than expectations. Dan Moran is the president of Next Act, a career management firm.
"We need 150,000 jobs in the country on a month to month basis just to keep the unemployment rate steady,” said Dan Moran, Next Act president.
With employers hiring in low numbers, Moran says new and soon-to-be grads have to be on their game right from the start.
“Oftentimes, they'll come home and readjust and hang out and do nothing for four to six weeks, don't do that this year, the market is too competitive," said Moran.
But, college career centers like the one at UAlbany are helping students adjust to this new reality.
"They come in and they get a degree in psychology, sociology, you name it, but they don't know what the end goal is, so we have students really preparing their career plan from day one," said Noah Simon, UAlbany Career Services Associate Director.
Freshman year, in fact, learning how to network and stack internships to beat a persistent 8.2 percent unemployment rate.
"We've seen an increase in numbers over the last four of five years, not only from students for from alums coming back looking for help," said Simon.
For now, though, some seniors are sticking with studying.
"You have a couple of options, maybe you look towards grad school," said Stephen Comer, UAlbany senior.
Holding out hope that there will eventually be a brighter future ahead.
“It's scary but, you know, the strong survive," said Walker.