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In a Softening Economy, Where are the Jobs?
High school students, college grads, face challenges

For immediate release
June 9, 2008

WETHERSFIELD, It happens every June. Thousands of high school juniors and seniors will be looking for summer work while Class of 2008 college graduates are searching for something more permanent. In light of the softening economy, how difficult will it be for these workers to find jobs? 

Approximately 70,000 Connecticut residents are high school juniors and seniors while nearly 18,000 college students will receive their bachelor’s degree before the official start of summer. With 30,000 to 40,000 seasonal jobs added in the state between April and June, what can these job seekers expect when they begin their job search? 

You may be looking a bit longer, or you’ll need to try a bit harder to stand out, but there are jobs out there and companies are still hiring,” according to State Labor Economist John Tirinzonie of the state’s Labor Department.

In terms of summer jobs, according to Tirinzonie, the first place to look would be in the leisure and hospitality industry, which includes restaurants and other food services, hotels, and recreational services such as golf courses, camping facilities and amusement parks.

Business services, which includes employment agencies and landscaping services, will, on average, hire another 8,000 jobs during the summer months. Additional seasonal employment will be created in local government, 5,000; construction, 5,000; retail, 3,000; while agriculture represents an additional 2,000 openings.

For those college graduates looking for permanent positions, Tirinzonie noted that latest economic data for Connecticut shows the state has an unemployment rate of 4.7% -- below that of the national average -- while three of the state’s ten major industry sectors showed job gains and another five were relatively stable. 

“Despite the national economic slowdown, in Connecticut we are still up by more than 10,000 new jobs compared to last year,” Tirinzonie said. “While our local economy is still not on solid ground, it does appear that it is beginning to stabilize and this is good news for jobseekers.”

To assist job seekers with their job search, the Connecticut Department of Labor is sponsoring two job fairs in June – the first on June 11 at Sacred Heart University, and a June 17 event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell.   

“Attending a job fair gives attendees access to hiring managers of many local businesses,” Tirinzonie noted, “And whether you’re a high school student looking for part-time hours or a college graduate just starting a career, it’s essential that a résumé reflect the skills a potential employee has to offer, and the accomplishments they have achieved.”

Those in need of a new or updated résumé should consider using their local CTWorks Career
Center for a résumé writing or critique session offered by Labor Department employees who are National Certified Professional Résumé Writers.
”If you are new to the job market or beginning another career, take time to schedule a skills assessment, attend a workshop on a variety of employment topics, meet with a career counselor or visit the self-service area at a CTWorks Center to use the copier, fax, or phone for job search-related activities,” Tirinzonie added. “Services at the CTWorks Career Centers, which are free of charge, also include services for veterans, local recruitment events, and an online job bank.”

According to Labor Department career counselors, in addition to a professional résumé,  Connecticut’s job seekers should consider these five basic tips to help them gain a competitive edge this summer:

  • Let your network of family and friends know you are looking for a job; this can often open doors you weren’t expecting.

  • Research a company before you apply so you will be well informed about what they do during an interview.

    • Make sure you dress appropriately – never wear jeans or a T-shirt.

    • Be friendly, and confident during an interview and show that you’re interested in the job and the company.

    • Watch for nervous behaviors and keep them in check – such as pen tapping, interrupting the interviewer, or shifting in your seat.

More information about the many employment services available and the locations of the state’s CTWorks Career Centers and workshops can be found on the Labor Department’s Web site, located at

Media Contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535

200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

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