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Entry-Level Job Survey Shows Strong Outlook, Yet Flat Salaries

The class of 2006 will soon graduate and join an entry-level job market that continues to strengthen, according to MonsterTRAK’s annual nationwide survey of employers, college students and recent graduates. Findings reveal that 72 percent of employers plan to hire 2006 graduates in the spring or summer, compared to 64 percent last year.

Additionally, 37 percent of companies expect to recruit more entry-level candidates than in 2005. Despite a growing job market, however, a surprising 67 percent of employers indicated 2006 entry-level earnings would not increase over 2005 wages. MonsterTRAK is the student division of Monster®, the leading global online careers property and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc.

"This year’s MonsterTRAK survey suggests that the market is at an advantageous tipping point for entry-level workers, with more opportunities creating more competition amongst employers to attract and retain top talent," said Julie Goldthwait, Vice President and General Manager, MonsterTRAK. "The strong supply of entry-level positions is also reflective of demographic shifts in America’s workforce, as 55 percent of companies surveyed indicate they expect to recruit Generation Y employees in the near future to help fill vacancies left by transitioning Baby Boomers."

The confident class of 2006 appears to hear opportunity knocking – 82 percent expect to receive at least one job offer when they graduate while 64 percent expect two or more offers. Seventy-eight percent note that their undergraduate experience has prepared them for the working world.

Where are the Entry-Level Jobs?

An analysis of job postings currently on Monster revealed entry-level opportunities are most abundant in California, followed by Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. At the market-specific level, New York City and Los Angeles feature the most available jobs, with Philadelphia, Houston, Boston-Manchester and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale close behind.

Additionally, 15 percent of entry-level "Internet/eCommerce" jobs are located in the San Francisco- Oakland/-San Jose area, while 14 percent of "Healthcare – Therapy/Rehab Services" positions can be found in the Boston-Manchester market.

The sales sector is seeking the most entry-level candidates, while positions in the administrative and support services, customer service and call center, retail/wholesale and advertising/marketing/public relations sectors are also plentiful.

Growing Internship Programs Underscore Strong Demand for Entry-Level Workers

Internships remain an effective way for students to gain relevant work experience, as well as get a foot in the door of some the country’s best companies, before graduating. More than half of employers surveyed offer an internship program – 31 percent report it is larger in 2006 than 2005. Most students are taking advantage of the opportunity to gain some professional experience, as 56 percent of 2006 graduates completed one or more internship during their college career.

"There is no question that attracting and hiring the best entry-level candidates has become increasingly competitive as the job market continues to improve," said Amy Van Kirk, National Campus Recruiting Director for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC. "We are focused on the importance of introducing students to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC while they are still in school by encouraging participation in our extensive internship program, which is currently comprised of about 2,500 people. More than 90 percent of interns who receive a full-time employment offer accept it; they see first hand our commitment to training and development, as well as the work/life flexibility we offer."

Heading Back to the Nest

Roughly half (48 percent) of 2006 graduates are planning to move home after graduation. Interestingly, 44 percent of last year’s graduates are still living with their parents and, of this group, slightly less than half say it is due to limited financial resources.

Survey Methodology

MonsterTRAK’s 2006 Entry Level Job Outlook was conducted from February 16 – March 17, 2006 via targeted online distribution to nationwide MonsterTRAK customer companies, as well as college students and recent alumni who are MonsterTRAK members. Results were recorded from more than 820 employers and over 6,000 students. Job posting data includes active postings located in the United States, active previous to March 27, 2006 that had not expired.

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