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Are Entry-Level Jobs a Bright Spot in Hiring?

Graduate Jobs: On the Rebound? With youth unemployment soaring above the national rate, you'd think the obvious answer to the question posed in the headline is no. But while it's true that a freshly minted college graduate will always struggle more to find a good gig than a skilled professional with decades of experience, there are at least some signs that the employment picture for young people might be getting a bit rosier.

Niche job site aggregator recently reviewed job postings for the fourth quarter of 2010 and crunched numbers, turning up a few entry-level jobs trends. Happily, they found a few reasons for optimism. The site's review,

revealed that the largest percentage of online job postings are for positions with less than one year of experience, capturing 78 percent of all postings across the network. This represents more than a 13 percent jump compared to entry-level job postings from one year ago, indicating a healthy uptick in the creation of jobs, particularly for this new generation entering the workforce.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers echoes the expectation that 2011 will be a relatively good year for entry-level hiring, at least for college grads. Their hiring index, which polls employers about their intentions to hire and distills the outlook into a number between 0 and 200, was up to 127.7 in December of this year, compared to 87.2 in November of 2009.

So which cities and industries seem to be showing the strongest improvement? Beyond found the most entry-level openings in Houston, New York and Los Angeles, and reported the most jobs advertised on its site were in healthcare (34 percent), IT (nine percent), accounting and sales (both eight percent). Meanwhile, NACE says accounting majors are receiving the most job offers.

But if you've packed your bags for Houston and targeted healthcare or accounting gigs but are still coming up empty handed, don't feel bad. The New York Times is reporting today on how anemic hiring of grads pushed many who were looking for corporate careers into public service during the height of the crisis, with 16 percent more graduates working for the federal government in 2009 than in the previous year and 11 percent more for nonprofits. What's the takeaway? Entry-level hiring may be improving, but from a very low place and in a spotty and uneven way. Be optimistic but not complacent -- it's still rough out there.

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(Image courtesy of Flickr user eflon, CC 2.0)
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