Colleges are a lucrative source of employment for students.
As the country grapples with a shortage of qualified workers, some students have been searching for work.
But the prospects for students in this year’s economic boom are uncertain.
“The hiring cycle is definitely a big part of it,” said Emily Rauch, senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
In recent years, college grads have struggled to find jobs.
The unemployment rate for graduates of the top 10 colleges and universities has been nearly double that of their peers, according to a report by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Tuesday.
College graduates are also less likely to be employed in jobs where they can earn more than $60,000 a year.
In fact, about 12% of students at the top ten schools were unemployed in January, according an analysis of Federal Reserve data by The American Prospect magazine.
The college employment crisis, especially among the young, is part of a broader trend that’s affecting every sector of the economy, Raup said.
“This is a huge part of the overall economy and the overall unemployment is a big contributor to that,” she said.
Rauch said it’s important to remember that the hiring cycle for students is not set in stone.
“They are trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives and they are trying out for a variety of things,” she added.
“So I think they’re making a lot of assumptions that are going to impact their decisions and their choices and what they end up doing,” she concluded.
For students who have been struggling, the biggest hurdles might be their lack of preparation.
“The big challenge for a lot young people who are graduating, they’re kind of just going to be in a position of not knowing what they are going into,” Rauchan said.
“What’s going to help them in their decision making and their career path?
What is the best fit for them?”