Local college grads worried about job market


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — College graduation is less than a month away, but many local grads are worried about the job market that they will be entering.  

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been many concerns for students and whether they will be able to find a job post-graduation. 

According to John Gibson, associate professor of Economics at the University of Texas at El Paso, the unemployment rate was around 15 percent this time last year, but as of April 2, there has been a huge decline. 

“We got a new jobs report — 916,000 new jobs were created and the unemployment rate fell to 6 percent,” he said. 

This rate is promising for graduates like Maria Ramos Pacheco, an international student who is graduating from UTEP this summer. 

“I’ve been looking for jobs,” she said. “I’ve been looking for them and it’s been hard because a lot of jobs just say if you’re not a USA citizen or a permanent resident, then you can’t apply.” 

Others, however, have been able to find employment. 

Keenan Marquez is a graduate from New Mexico State University who was able to find a job not only after graduating, but also amid the pandemic.  

“I was planning on moving back in with my parents … when looking for a job, kind of just putting my resume out anywhere that would take it,” Marquez said. “It was nerve-wracking, but not impossible.”  

Workforce Solutions Borderplex offers a program that’s specifically tailored to help college grads secure a job. 

“What is important is they start as soon as possible,” said WSB Development Director Alma Aranda. “Right now, we are still seeing a sort of reluctance to get out there and work, mostly related to COVID factors, but we do anticipate a shift soon, a shift to an employer’s market.”  

Some of the sectors in their “Hot Jobs” report are government, trade and transportation, utilities, education and health services. 

For those who are still struggling to secure a job or who might not know where to start, they are encouraged to reach out to their college career programs. 

Both NMSU and UTEP have one, as well as WSB.

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