BYU students and graduates remain optimistic about the job market as the unemployment rate drops to 7.3 percent, the lowest point since 2008.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment of adult men and women over age 20 dropped to 7.1 percent and 6.3 percent respectively. Students with some college education fared even better. The unemployment rate for adults with some college education was 6.3 percent, and the unemployment rate for college graduates was 3.5 percent.
Critics claim the job market has not really improved and that the low unemployment rate is not good for the country. Some say the low unemployment rate is due to young workers leaving the work force post-summer or because workers have given up hope for finding a job.
The claims are backed by the lack of new jobs added to the job market. The U.S. job market added fewer than 150,000 jobs this summer, below the average 184,000 jobs added. However, BYU graduates have consistently fared better after graduation than the national average.
“I feel like the job market is strong, but I feel it requires more persistence and networking than it did in the past,” said Nathan Parkin, a recent BYU marketing graduate.
BYU students said they feel optimistic about the job market, regardless of unemployment trends.
“I am very hopeful,” said Maggie Brown, a senior studying public health. “I feel like BYU prepares you well. Maybe I’m not desperate yet, but I’m in good hopes.”
Mackenzie Mann, an exercise and wellness senior, said she is placing her bets on getting into graduate school.
“I will be way more confident after physical therapy school than if I was looking for a job right after graduation,” she said. “But the medical field market is great, and I would only be slightly more hesitant if I was looking for a job.”