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Job outlook brightens for college grads

Job prospects improving, sources say

This post was written by Tom Zanki and was reprinted with permission from

Here is a sign of encouragement for college seniors: The jobs outlook for the class of 2011 is getting brighter, a new survey shows.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers says companies plan to hire 13.5 percent more graduates from next year's class than they did this year.

The latest results don't indicate robust growth, said Ed Koc, director of research at Bethlehem-based NACE, but they show clear improvement from the dismal trends of the recent past.

Employers this year only hired 5 percent more college graduates than they did in 2009, which was a particularly weak year, he said.

"The general economy is still fairly negative," Koc said. "But it seems to be improving a bit quicker with respect to college hiring."

The survey's hiring index scored a 126.4; anything over 100 represents a projected increase. The same survey scored 86.8 at this time last year.

Koc said NACE, which researches hiring trends of college graduates nationwide, follows up each spring to match projections with actual results.

"If the projections turn out to be accurate, it will be a solid year," he said.

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