“I am optimistic that the unemployment rate will continue to drop. Cities and states are working for new jobs and although the rate may not be where it needs to be, it is definitely headed in that direction and that is a good thing,” said Nagatha Tonkins, Elon’s Communications internship director.
In March of 2009, there were 670,000 unemployment claims. In April of 2013, there were 324,000 unemployment claims. This is the lowest level since January of 2008. Nationally, the unemployment rate is 7.5 %.
According to Tonkins, low unemployment rates also means more opportunities for students.
“What happens in the economy affect internships, and with the increase of economical situations comes the increase of paid internships,” Tonkins said.
But Ryan Williams, an entrepreneur and founder of a Mebane based electrician company said there might be negative reasons for the unemployment rate’s decrease.
“I think that we can attribute the most recent drop in unemployment rates to the fact that people have stopped searching for jobs and have become lazy and therefore don’t qualify as unemployed,” Williams said.
North Carolina has an unemployment of 8.9 %, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But some say these numbers represent employment growth.
“What we’ve seen in the past year, is an increase in the employment rate, and that’s coming primarily through the introduction of new technology and new kinds of industries to this state,” said Thomas Brinkley, Executive Director of Corporate and Employer Relations.
According to Brinkley, graduating seniors who are about to enter the job market have a lot of opportunities.
“Our National Association of Colleges and Employers just released a survey that said employment in 2013 would be up 13 percent, so that’s a huge increase in employment opportunities for students,” Brinkley said.
James Palumbo, a partner at Price Waterhouse Cooper, said certain markets have better opportunities than others.
“I believe that health care and technology in general will bring the most employment prospects in the coming months and years,” Palumbo said.
Palumbo said no matter what field you’re in, the economy is in a slow recovery.
“After World War II, there was a boom in the economy, as well as a boom in the economy after the small recession in 1991 to 1992, the country experienced some of the strongest years in the history of its economy. After every recession in America, there has been an even stronger recovery. I have confidence in the resourcefulness of the people in the government,” Palumbo said.
View Unemployment Rates by State in a larger map