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LJ’s annual placements & salaries survey shows graduates having hard time in job market, with some successes and satisfaction

Posted by Editor on October 21, 2009

From LJ

untitledFewer Full-Time Jobs | Pockets of Good News

“It’s a recession, baby!” was the common refrain among the LIS graduates of 2008. This was a record year for the number of graduates participating in the annual survey, with 2,089 respondents, representing approximately 31.7% of the approximate 6500 LIS graduates. They had stories to tell, providing evidence of both hard times in the job market, and some successes and satisfaction.

Even before the bloodletting of 2009, 2008 graduates were hit hard. Job searches averaged almost five months, and unemployment postgraduation rose to 5.9% in 2008, compared to 4.7% in 2007. Average starting salaries dipped slightly overall, dropping 1.8% to $41,579, after 18 years of increases, while placements in part-time and nonprofessional positions rose. Part-time placements increased from 16.3% of the placements in 2007 to 18.3% of 1,817 grads reporting jobs in 2008, after holding steady for two years. Likewise, 13.5% of the 2008 graduates either remained in or found non-professional positions compared to 11.3% in 2007.

The decreasing salaries, declining number of full-time positions overall, and the increase in part-time jobs and unemployment in 2008 appear to be the precursor to what will undoubtedly be a seriously depressed job market for graduates in 2009, with widespread hiring freezes and budget cuts across all types of libraries and information agencies.

Fewer Full-Time Jobs

While the total percentage of grads reporting they got jobs appears to have held steady between 2007 and 2008, the status of those jobs is more telling. In 2007, 87.9% of the graduates reported employment, including both full-time and part-time placements, compared to 2008, when 87.3% of graduates reported employment of any sort. The noticeable difference is in the percentage of full-time placements; 89.2% of the 2007 grads reported full-time employment while 69.8% of the grads were employed full-time in 2008.untitled

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