Graduating college students face a mixed job market at best this year, and most will leave school without an offer in hand, despite an uptick in hiring by on-campus recruiters.
A survey of employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed those that recruit on campuses plan to boost hiring of new grads by 10.2% from last year. However, on-campus recruiting is only a small slice of the pie -- the bulk of graduates find jobs on their own.
Associated Press全美高校与雇主协会(National Association of Colleges and Employers)对招聘企业展开的一项调查显示，参与校园招聘的企业今年的应届毕业生计划招聘人数比去年增加了10.2%。然而，校园招聘只占就业市场很小一部分，大多数毕业生还是得自己走出校园找工作。
In a study to be released Thursday, the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University found that recent graduates are taking awhile to find work. Only 49% of graduates from the classes of 2009 to 2011 had found a full-time job within a year of finishing school, compared with 73% for students who graduated in the three years prior.
罗格斯大学（Rutgers University）约翰•黑尔德里希人力发展中心（John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development）在上周发布的研究报告中指出，新近毕业的大学生要花不少时间才能找到工作。在2009年至2011年期间毕业的大学生中，只有49%的人在毕业一年内找到全职工作，2006至2008年期间毕业的大学生的这一比例为73%。
Overall, the unemployment rate among 20- to 24-year-olds with bachelor's degrees was 6.4% in April, compared with 8.1% for the overall population, according to the Labor Department.
Experts say four broad issues will make it tougher for today's graduates to launch their careers and succeed over the long run.
FIRST, the job market is still far from booming: March and April's disappointing job numbers -- employers added only 154,000 and 115,000 jobs, respectively, compared with an average gain of about 250,000 in the previous three months -- suggest the recovery remains fragile. The downbeat news echoes a pattern in the past two years, when much-heralded economic 'green shoots' early in the year failed to blossom into sustained improvement.
On the positive side, Americans are quitting their jobs in higher numbers, leaving behind openings for which new graduates can apply. In February, the last month for which data are available, two million people gave notice, according to the Labor Department. While still historically low, it is the highest number of resignations since November 2008. That churn -- the natural turnover that occurs as workers quit or retire -- is a sign of slowly improving economic confidence and good news for new grads and all unemployed people.
SECOND, the class of 2012 faces tougher competition thanks to what Carl Van Horn, director of the Heldrich Center, calls 'the recession hangover.' Young adults who graduated into the dire labor market of 2008 and 2009 and have been out of work or underemployed since are applying for the same jobs as new grads are. The same goes for earlier grads who were laid off during the recession. Those job candidates, many of whom likely have more experience than new grads, may have an edge, Mr. Van Horn says.
其次，受到约翰·黑尔德里希人力发展中心主任卡尔•范霍恩（Carl Van Horn）所称的“衰退后遗症”的影响，2012年毕业的学生面临着更加残酷的就业竞争。一方面，毕业于2008年和2009年、一直未就业或者未充分就业的年轻人会与今年的应届毕业生竞争相同岗位；另一方面，早前毕业但在经济衰退期被解雇的人也会加入竞争。范霍恩称，这些求职者可能比应届毕业生更有优势，因为他们当中许多人的工作经验更丰富。
In a better position might be those seniors who took advantage of on-campus recruitment programs. Lauren Martinez, 22 years old, will graduate from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., on Saturday with an entry-level consulting job in hand. Competition during recruiting season felt 'hard but not terrible,' says Ms. Martinez, who received two job offers. Her friends who are graduating without full-time jobs, she adds, have mostly lined up volunteer work, internships and temporary research positions while they continue to search for permanent work.
境遇好些的可能是那些通过校园招聘得偿所愿的毕业班学生。现年22岁的劳伦•马丁内兹（Lauren Martinez）上周六刚从明尼苏达州圣保罗的马卡莱斯特学院（Macalester College）毕业，她即将从事一份初级的咨询工作。她说求职季的竞争“艰难但并不可怕”，最终她获得了两个工作机会。她还说，那些毕业没找到全职工作的朋友大多数找到了志愿者工作、实习工作以及临时性的研究工作，同时他们也在继续寻找固定工作。
THIRD, a debt burden looms. Two-thirds of students from the class of 2010, the latest figures available, graduated with student loans, with an average tab of $25,250 -- up 5% from the previous year -- according to The Institute for College Access & Success, an independent group that promotes higher education affordability.
再次，债务负担也是一大隐患。据美国大学入学及成功协会(The Institute for College Access & Success)的数据显示，2010年（有数据可查的一年）毕业的学生中，有三分之二的人在毕业时背负着助学贷款，平均负债额为25,250美元，较上一年上升了5%。该协会是一家旨在提高高等教育可承受度的独立机构。
Tuition isn't getting any cheaper, so loan figures are expected to be even higher for the current crop of graduates. That means a greater share of any starting salaries they receive would go to repaying lenders, rather than to rent, furnishings or a down-payment fund for a house, delaying financial independence for many young adults.
LAST, even when new graduates do find jobs, their starting salaries tend to be lower than those for their counterparts who graduated a decade earlier, adjusted for inflation. With a lower base pay, research shows they may never catch up.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank, entry-level, college-educated men age 23-29 earned an average $21.68 an hour in 2011, an inflation-adjust drop of 7.6% from 2000. For women, the corresponding figure fell 6%, to $18.80. Men and women both earn just a bit more than they did in 1989, when measured in 2011 dollars.
据美国左倾智库经济政策研究所（Economic Policy Institute）的数据显示，在2011年，受过大学教育、从事初级工作的23岁至29岁男性的平均时薪为21.68美元，经通胀因素调整后比2000年降低了7.6%；同样条件的女性的这一数据下降了6%至18.80美元。按照美元在2011年的购买力水平衡量，这些人的工资只比1989年高出些许。
Many students nonetheless express optimism, though perhaps that is simply the Lake Wobegon effect: They might believe they're all above-average after years of positive reinforcement from their parents. In the same vein, they may see themselves as exceptions to the rules of the job market.
许多学生还是表现出乐观态度，尽管这可能只是乌比冈湖效应（Lake Wobegon effect，注：指人们对于自身的性格和能力等抱有不切实际的乐观态度）的体现──他们可能是认为自己经过父母多年的积极培养后比普通人。出于同样的道理，他们可能也认为自己能够免受就业市场规律的影响。