Students graduating from college this spring are entering what many career experts say has been the best job market in years.
What is happening: Minnesota has a record unemployment rate of 2.2%. Additionally, college graduates can now take jobs at faraway companies and work remotely in the Twin Cities, further expanding their options.
- “It’s been the best job market in decades,” said Mick Doherty, executive chairman of Dahl Consulting, an Edina-based staffing and recruiting firm.
Why is it important: Unlike their millennial cousins, new Gen Z grads can be selective about where they work and have the power to demand higher starting salaries.
What they say : “We absolutely find that students who receive multiple offers can be a bit more difficult,” said Bryan Shealer, senior associate director of employer and alumni relations at St. Olaf College.
- At the University of Minnesota, career fairs now have more employers and fewer students, said acting senior director of career services Sara Nagel Newberg.
- “Employers are trying to figure out how they can do more to reach our graduates,” she added. “I have never seen such stressed employers.”
Between the lines: It’s not just higher salaries that graduates want. They’re also looking for companies that are culturally matched, offer clear responsibilities and provide flexibility, primarily in the form of hybrid working, Doherty said.
- The tables turned in the interview process, he added. “Graduates interview the company to make sure it’s a good fit for them.”
Enlarge: The Minneapolis-based U.S. bank is more competitive with signing bonuses and relocation expenses, said Vicky Hidalgo, the bank’s national head of young talent. It is also to ensure that the candidates know the culture of the company.
- “We’re really focused on creating a workplace where everyone has a voice and diverse experiences are valued. I think those two angles really play into the work that students want to do,” he said. she declared.
Yes, but: Although the labor market is robust, new graduates face challenges.
- Some will start a job and work completely remotely, which does not allow for face-to-face contact.
- “Recent alumni have said, ‘I can’t get the mentorship I need,'” Newberg said. “I’ve heard of an employer – they’re all in person – and they find candidates who seek them out because that’s the environment they want.”
The bottom line: As wages rise, so does inflation. The biggest expense for new grads is an apartment, and the average rent in the metro area is now nearly $1,400, up 4.9% from a year ago.