Southwest Virginia college grads walk across the stage into a new booming job market

The Roanoke Valley is seeing an unemployment rate of 2.7%

As college grads walk across the stage, jobs await for them.

ROANOKE, Va. – As college graduates walk across the stage, a promising job market is waiting for them.

College graduates are moving their tassels and into the workforce.

With an unemployment rate of 2.7% in the Roanoke Valley, Radford University Director of the Career Center and Talent Development Jason Clayton said it’s a job seeker market.

“It is phenomenally different than two years ago,” he said. “Even last year.”

Back in June 2020, the national unemployment rate skyrocketed to more than 13%.

According to a recent survey, employers plan to hire a third more new graduates this year compared to last year.

Clayton said graduates now have more of a chance to be selective.

“But now the change is hopefully where do you really want to go and articulate skills and competency so you can be your best,” he said.

Roanoke College Director of Alumni Engagement and Student Enrichment Jonathan Lee said the new graduates learned flexibility and communication skills that make them more marketable.

“They are so adaptable now that if something does arise if their employer wants them one day a week to work remotely,” he said. “They are very talented and experienced at doing that.”

Lee said the new workforce competition could help others with negotiations.

“That provides those more experience professionals with a little more leverage to go to their employers about benefit packages, their salaries and their work styles as well,” he said.

Both career advisors said employers are starting to adapt to the new demand and culture of the next generation.

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Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.