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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC students looking for a job after graduation have reason to be optimistic.

Not only has the unemployment rate for 2011 UNC graduates dropped to 7.4 percent, but more schools are recruiting at the Fall Job and Internship Expo this year.

For 2010 graduates, immediately after graduation the unemployment peaked at 12.6 percent.

“I think it’s fantastic news,” said Jeff Sackaroff, associate director of University Career Services.

“I think it shows the caliber of our students and just how we’re a target school for our employers,” he said.

Tim Stiles, associate director of University Career Services, said the consistently growing number of employers registered for the Fall Expo is a good sign.

“I think what it really is saying too is that the job market is getting better for college graduates.”

Stiles called recent college graduates a bellwether for overall employment trends.

“Hiring for the 19- to 22-year-old range comes out of a recession faster than other hiring. Part of it is just because you guys are less expensive labor,” he said.

Ray Angle, director of University Career Services, said many employers consider UNC a top recruitment school because of its reputation.

“This is a campus that is very fortunate to have strong ties with employers,” he said.

Though the Fall Expo has been steadily growing, the employer attendance at the Diversity Job and Internship Fair has fluctuated.

Sackaroff said he didn’t know why the rate was fluctuating, but said it might happen because the Diversity Fair is cheaper.

For-profit employers pay $300 to register for the Diversity Fair and pay $580 to register for the Fall Expo, he said. Non-profit organizations have a discount.

Junior Gina Barbato, a business major, attended a “resume marathon” on Monday, hosted by University Career Services.

Barbato said she was preparing her resume for internships and feels both confident as an applicant but worried about the competition.

Barbato said she attended the Kenan-Flagler Business School’s orientation last week, where majors talked about internships.

“You could even sense the competition in the room,” she said.

Colin Hodges, a senior journalism major focusing on advertising, also attended the “resume marathon.”

When asked how he felt about looking for a job, he responded, “Can I cry first before I answer this?”

He said he feels both good and nervous about his chances.

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“I’m optimistic because I have to be,” Hodges said.

Hodges said he plans on going to every career fair event this week.

“I feel like all the seniors need to meet me there because … we need to get it together and go.”

“Now it’s here, it’s in your face … and you don’t have anything to fall back on,” he added.

You can read the entire report here.

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