College seniors graduating this spring face one of the worst job
markets in years, a sharp turnaround from plentiful options a few years
ago for graduates.


Following are some facts on the topic.


* An April 1 survey found 60 percent of graduating college seniors
have applied for a job. Of those, one in five reported landing a job,
compared to one out of four from the class of 2008.


* Sixty-three percent of graduating seniors surveyed said they were
worried about finding a job. Forty percent had not begun to look.
Fifty-three percent said they expected to have a job within three
months of graduation.


* Employers surveyed plan to hire 22 percent fewer new graduates
this year compared to last year, ending a string of increased hiring
dating to 2004. Forty-four percent of employers said they will hire
fewer new graduates this spring than last, and 20 percent won't hire
any at all.


* Yearly salaries offered new graduates will average $48,515, down 2
percent from last year. Salaries in various engineering fields rose 2
percent to an average of $58,438.


* Of the 198 million Americans aged 25 or older, 27 percent have a
college degree. College graduates earn an average of $47,000 annually,
advanced degree holders average $61,000, high school grads $27,000.


* Enrollment in 2- and 4-year colleges and universities reached 20.5
million in 2006, up 3 million from 2000. Spending on post-secondary
education totals $373 billion. Default rates on government-backed
college loans from the 2006-2007 fiscal year hit a high of 6.9 percent.


* Americans aged 19-29 are at the highest risk of not having health
insurance coverage. Young adults account for 13 million of the 47
million uninsured.


(Sources: National Association of Colleges and Employers, U.S.
Census Bureau, National Conference of State Legislatures, FinAid.com)