WILMINGTON -- Earlier this week we reported how the struggling economy means fewer summer jobs for college students. That may also be the case for graduating college seniors now looking for full time jobs. Lawrence Smith is graduating from UNCW in a few weeks and he's still wondering "what's next"? Smith said, "It's just a pretty difficult time right now, especially for my major and the market." The finance major has already sent out countless resumes. He's even had a few interviews. He's discovered that getting a job out of college is not going to be easy. Smith said, "It's like, well, this is great, usually we're hiring ten or so more employees per year, per semester per class, but this year, you know, we can only afford one." Last fall the National Association of Colleges and Employers projected a rosy picture: a 16 percent increase in college hiring for the class of 2008. Now they've cut that increase in half and warn that it may continue to drop. Thom Rakes with the UNCW Career Center said, "The recession idea is out there and so employers are concerned about what the future is going to be and when employers get concerned about that, they ratchet back in their hiring." Rakes has worked at the UNCW Career Center for the past 12 years. He says students in some fields -- like education and nursing -- should be OK. But finance majors like Smith say, "Overall it's more challenging than it's been in the last year or two." Not that getting a job is impossible, it's just more competitive. Smith says not all hope is lost. "It's really important to get that job," Smith said. "And, obviously we're going to have to work a little bit harder and maybe spread out your search and such." According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the healthcare, bioscience and technology industries will create the most new jobs this year.
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