College seniors and recent graduates have been experiencing quite the rush of employment demand this year, with university placement office directors and corporate human resources executives reporting "that hiring is running well above" 2020 levels — and, in some cases, exceeding prepandemic activity in 2019, reports The New York Times.
"Activity is up significantly from last year and is about 10 percent higher than it was before the pandemic," said Annette McLaughlin, director of the Office of Career Services at Fordham University. "It's likely that students will get multiple offers and they will have to choose."
Jennifer Neef, director of the Career Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, echoed that sentiment: "The appetite for college labor is strong right now, whether it's student positions, or part time, all the way through entry-level jobs."
Such conditions highlight "the longstanding economic premium for those with a college education over holders of just a high school diploma," writes the Times. The Washington Post previously reported that while millions of Americans have returned to work, Black Americans and workers without college degrees are getting left behind in the country's jobs recovery.
Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, called it a "bifurcation in the labor market recovery." "People with high school diplomas or less witnessed a much more serious decline in employment opportunities during the COVID crisis."
For the college-educated, however, it's back to business as usual — or perhaps even crazier, writes the Times. "I've been with the firm 26 years and I've never seen it this competitive," said recruiter Rod Adams of accounting and consulting firm PwC.