Downsizing Slows, But The Sheepskin Set Is Still Scrambling

The economic expansion may finally be starting to provide some breathing space for U.S. workers fearful of being axed in corporate restructuring, but it hasn't yet improved the prospects for new college graduates.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an outplacement consulting firm, reports that layoff announcements by major corporations in July totaled only 19,146 jobs, 45% less than in June and the lowest tally in 14 months.

Meanwhile, Michigan State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute has updated its December survey of employers' hiring plans. The latest tally shows that hiring of new college grads in the 1993-94 academic year just ended was up 2.2% over 1992-93. While this is better than the 1.1% projected in December, it's still a meager increase after four years of decline--particularly since nearly one-fifth of the latest crop of grads were hired for temporary or contractual positions.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.