Student job market declining

Due to the current economic situation, students are finding it increasingly difficult to find jobs on campus as well as within the community.

Laura Carlson, UVU Student Employment Manager, said that there are two main contributors to this problem: first, there are more students competing for the same number of jobs and second, there is a lack of available jobs on campus and in the community.

Typically, the community helps to serve a lot of student employment needs, but currently employers are not hiring, and they are not replacing people as they quit.

Carlson said that between last December and this month, about 200 on-campus hourly student jobs have been lost.

“Everyone had to implement some type of budget cuts, so some students have seen a reduction in hours and some saw job opportunities cut in general,” Carlson said.

She added that around 100 students have been applying for each on-campus job listed through the Career Services and Student Employment Web site.

“Recently a lab assistant opened a job and had 114 applications in five days,” stated Carlson.

“Our school is handling it amazingly well,” she added. “It’s been handled much better than what I’ve seen nationwide. I went to a conference in October and the atmosphere nationwide is far more serious than what we are experiencing here in Utah County.”

Allison Gray, UVU Employer Relations Specialist said that the unemployment rate nationwide is 7.2 percent, but in Utah is only 4.3 percent.

According to a press release issued by the Department of Workforce services, approximately 24,600 jobs have been removed from the Utah economy over the past year.

Even though the university has experienced recent budget cuts, wages for student employees on-campus have not been cut.

“We strive for fair wages across campus and to follow through with what commitments we have made with our student employees,” she said. “However, there have been some instances where hours are reduced, so it’s not wages, but hours. So a student may have wanted to work 20 hours a week may be working 15. This is how it’s being corrected.”

With this high volume of applicants, on-campus supervisors are having a hard time managing such large applicant pools.

Carlson said that students who have good follow-through skills and who are proactive will be the most successful at finding a job on campus.

Gray added that through internships and other opportunities, students can become more competitive through the valuable experience they gain and this will help them to find jobs as students, as wells as employment in their career field after they graduate.

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