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Michigan’s college seniors are graduating into an uncertain job market


College seniors graduating this spring are worried about the job market and whether they’ll be able to find employment.

Since the start of the pandemic Michigan has seen over one and a quarter million state residents file for unemployment.

Now, college graduates worry they won’t have many - or any - opportunities after graduating.

Connor Reinberg is a Central Michigan University senior in the college of business. He said many of the places he was looking at applying to before spring break are no longer hiring.

“I do know a couple people that did have something lined up and then they heard from the jobs that they had lined up saying hey we’re putting this on hold, you don’t have a job right now. Maybe when this is all over.”

Reinberg said he was in the pre-interview process with a couple of places, but hasn’t heard back since the pandemic began.

“It’s definitely made it harder for pretty much everybody to find jobs. In my department, anyway.”

Reinberg said he’s started applying for minimum wage jobs to tide him over until he can find something that’ll fit with his degree.

He said initially he applied for jobs in specific cities where he wanted to move. Now, he said, he’s applying anywhere that might be hiring.

Students may face another problem if they aren't able to get a job after graduating. Unemployment insurance is based off of a previous job's income and many campus jobs don’t report income, because they aren’t required to.

Erica Quealy is with the office of Labor and Economic Opportunity. She said it is not uncommon for universities to not report student income and pointed to a section of the Michigan Unemployment Security Act which excludes services performed by someone less than 22 years of age for a college or university from the term “employment.”

But, according to Qualey, students are still eligible to apply for pandemic unemployment insurance.

The federal pandemic insurance is $600 a week but is set to expire after July 25th.

Qualey encouraged graduating seniors to visit to explore the critical jobs still hiring during the pandemic.