Employment expectations for US college graduates remain at a high level

Despite the current uncertain economy and its impact on business and industry , the employment outlook for many of this year's college graduates remains optimistic. The 513 employing organizations in the private sector responding to a national survey conducted by the College Placement Council reported an overall 7 percent increase in the number of new college graduates either hired or expected to be hired this year compared with 1979-80.

In the public sector, federal government hiring has been affected by a hiring freeze and agency budget ceilings in the first two quarters of fiscal year 1981, and improvements are not expected in the last two quarters. Entry-level hiring of new college graduates for career civil service positions is expected to remain on the same moderate-to-low plateau as the fairly stable replacement hiring in fiscal year 1979. Federal agencies anticipate a 1 percent increase in hiring at the bachelor's level and an 11 percent decrease at the master's level in fiscal 1981, according to the CPC report.

The majority of the responding private-sector employers, 60 percent, expect the economic outlook for their organizations to improve in the last half of 1981 , with 48 percent of that majority expecting slight improvement and 12 percent anticipating substantial improvement. Another 30 percent foresee no change from the first half of 1981, and 6 percent predict that conditions will worsen. Four percent were uncertain.

The most significant demand continues to be for graduates with engineering degrees. At the bachelor's level, a 10 percent increase in actual and anticipated hires was reported. The master's and doctor's levels showed increases of 15 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

In the science, math, and other technical category, employers reported hiring only 1 percent more graduates at the bachelor's level than last year. However, job opportunities increased 25 percent at the master's level and 13 percent at the doctoral level since last year.

The business-related di sciplines also realized increased hiring since 1979- 80.

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