Mar 252004
Authors: Ben Bleckley

Christa Nenaber, realizes the job market isn’t as good as it

used to be.

“A lot of my friends that are graduating are having trouble

finding jobs,” said Nenaber, a junior landscape architecture


The current state of the job market is an issue that may plague

many students, especially those approaching graduation.

“The job market is weak for what should be an economic

recovery,” said Ron Phillips, chair of the economics department.

“It’s slow economic growth.”

Phillips said some factors contributing to the poor job market

are job exportation overseas and increased productivity in some

industries, resulting in less need for workers.

A Colorado Department of Labor and Employment report issued this

year states that only 15 percent of job vacancies in Larimer or

Weld counties require a bachelor’s degree.

“(Job vacancy) gives you some indication of the demand for jobs

relative to the supply,” Phillips said. “If you have a high

vacancy, that means they can’t find enough people to fill the


The report states there is a 1.1 percent vacancy rate in Larimer

and Weld counties.

The largest percentage of these vacancies, 36 percent, only

requires a high school diploma. The report also states that more

than half of the opportunities for job-seeking applicants with

bachelor’s degrees reside in health care.

Despite the report, job opportunities are not necessarily


“You can’t have a blanket statement about colleges because every

college has degrees that might be stronger than others,” said Ann

Malen, director of the Career Center. “And a lot of it depends also

on the kinds of opportunities students are looking for.”

Malen said most students who graduate want to remain in


“There’s been a significant loss of jobs (in Colorado) over the

last three years,” Malen said.

The current situation is a stark contrast to the market in


“Four years ago, people were graduating and getting multiple

offers and signing bonuses,” Malen said. “That’s typically not

happening at this point.”

The most successful jobs then were in information technology,

Malen said. These positions are now hard to come by.

Some industries, however, have remained in relatively secure


“We’ve seen a strong market in the retail area; accounting is

still doing well,” Malen said. “We’ve seen consulting starting to

come back as well, and consulting tends to be a leading-edge area

when the economy starts to turn around.”

There is more good news.

“Our on-campus recruiting numbers are ahead by about 20 percent

from last year,” Malen said. “Our full-time job postings, those are

up 7 percent, and internship postings are up 18 percent. I think

things are definitely more hopeful than they have been for the last

three years.

“We want students to be optimistic but not thinking things are

back where they were four years ago.”

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