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In a market clamoring for workers, new grads have plenty of leverage

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WBUR, May 2022

Kammarie Pelland walked into Framingham State University’s career fair feeling a little anxious. She was weeks away from graduating without a job lined up. But after mingling with a few employers, her anxiety quickly subsided. “I’m really excited to go into the workforce because there’s definitely a lot of jobs that are open,” said Pelland, who is a marketing major. “You’re not battling against everybody for a position.”

Freshly minted college graduates like Pelland are entering a job market that’s eager to have them. U.S. employers are planning to hire 31.6% more college grads this year compared to 2021, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Because of the high demand for workers, the class of 2022 can afford to make some demands of their own. “I will need a flexible schedule,” said Ariana Nunez, a psychology major and sociology minor. “I need people that’ll support me. Support what I wanna do. Help me network. Help me grow.”

Other students said they want workplaces that embrace qualities like diversity, teamwork and mentorship — not to mention competitive starting salaries.

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