COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s continued improvement in unemployment rates is encouraging news for University of South Carolina students set to graduate this month.
The state’s unemployment rate in March fell to 8.4 percent, from 8.9 percent in March 2012 and from 10.4 percent in March 2011.
Tom Halasz, director of the USC Career Center, says hiring this spring has continued, particularly in the fields of technology, engineering, accounting, computer science, supply chain management, sales, management and health care. There have also been signs of improvement in teacher hiring, he said.
“Full-time job postings at USC’s Career Center are up 32 percent over 2012, while internship postings are up 38 percent,” Halasz said. “Both job and internship postings are at all-time record levels, and students are finding opportunities throughout the state, locally and nationally.”
In addition to record electronic job and internship postings, the Career Center saw employer attendance at career fairs this spring increase by 13 percent. Plus, the Famously Hot Career and Talent Expo, sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, brought 87 local organizations to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on April 11, which also contributed to the increasing number of opportunities available to graduates.
Halasz says that while the trend in hiring nationally is improving, employers recently surveyed by National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) expect to hire a modest 2.1 percent more new college graduates from the college Class of 2013 than they did from the Class of 2012.
Another positive sign for the Class of 2013 is that average salaries are expected to rise 5.3 percent over the average posted for last year’s class, according to NACE’s April 2013 Salary Survey. The report shows the overall median starting salary for a graduate earning a bachelor’s degree has risen to $44,928 for the Class of 2013 from the final median salary of $42,666 for the Class of 2012.