Seasonal and part-time jobs harder to come by for college students

Seasonal and part-time jobs harder to come by for college students

by Peter KaspariStaff Writer

The nation’s continued economic crisis is beginning to affect college students by making seasonal jobs more difficult to attain.

The shortage in available openings has been hitting the nation from coast to coast.

According to an article published on Yahoo! News, a 7-Eleven in California received more than 100 job applicants in one week, even though seasonal employees aren’t usually hired. The same article claims the odds of getting a job as an operator at one department store are less than getting into Harvard.

The reason for the spike in employment applicants may be attributed to the economy, which has been staggering for the past few months.

Many workers who were laid off throughout the past months are now looking for part-time jobs for the holiday season.

“It is a lot of those entry-level positions that are usually the first to go when a company begins laying off employees,” Career Counselor Erin Swancutt said. “Other companies are putting a freeze on their hiring.”

Another reason that jobs are harder to attain than in previous years is due to the fact that seasoned employees set for retirement are either postponing or canceling those retirement plans altogether.

“The economic situation affects everyone, so that’s why there’s been a slowdown,” Swancutt said. “The baby boomers are staying in the industry, and when people lose their retirement plans, they can’t stay unemployed.”

Senior Anne Christians was fortunate enough to secure a holiday job this past fall.

“I started looking back in October,” Christians said. “I applied to five different places, and only one of them had room for me.”

Despite being able to locate a job, Christians said the economy has also affected other areas of employment.

“Even though I have a job, hours get very scarce because few people are shopping,” Christians said.

Christians added that she is concerned for the future.

“The place that hired me said seasonal employees usually get hired as part-time workers,” Christians said. “Now, it’s looking really grim.”

According to Swancutt, Iowa has not had as many problems as other states.

“We’re not being hit as hard, but we’re still noticing the economic slowdown,” Swancutt said. “We’re not at the crisis point, but it’s cutting it close.”

Managers at the Jordan Creek Mall turned down requests for interviews.

An article on the CNN Web site from reporter Rachel Zupek featured the 25 best cities in which to find a job. Atop the list with a 2.5 percent unemployment rate were Bismarck, N.D.; Casper, Wyo.; Logan, Utah and Sioux Falls, S.D.

Three Iowa cities made the list. Ames ranked the highest at sixth, with a 2.7 percent unemployment rate. Iowa City was at eighth with an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent, and Sioux City came in at number 20 with a 3.5 percent unemployment rate.

Although the Iowa employment rates are not as high as other states, students are still feeling the impact.

“The entry-level positions are slowing down,” Swancutt said. “We get job postings, and it’s slowed in terms of what we’re getting for job openings.”

Not all the employment news is grim, however.

“Even the science and technology fields are growing,” Swancutt said. “The non-profit sector is growing, as people are needing help. It depends on the area you’re in.”

Swancutt also had advice for student job-seekers.

“Start early and keep trying,” Swancutt said. “You’ve got to put a lot of time and effort into it.