The Recovering 2012 Job Market [Infographic]
After years of cutbacks and layoffs, the nation's labor market finally appears to be on the mend. Latest monthly data from the Labor Department shows the unemployment rate inched down to 8.5 percent in December, though millions of Americans remain out of work.
Still, the report showed that job growth was widespread throughout the economy. Even the hard-hit construction sector, stung by the drop in demand for new homes, saw modest gains for the month.
Adding to the momentum are fresh economic reports this week showing applications for unemployment benefits at a four-year low, business travel on the rise and tame inflation.
"We've had fundamental improvement in the labor market in the past few months," Ellen Zentner, a senior economist at Nomura Securities International Inc., told Bloomberg.
The boost in hiring bodes well for this year's batch of college graduates.
Employers recently surveyed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers say they plan to hire 10 percent more graduates this year than last, according to U.S. News & World Report. Recent college grads can also expect to earn higher salaries, too.
For more on the state of U.S. job market, including what college graduates can expect this spring, check out the infographic below from Course Hero, an Internet-based company that aims to help students learn more effectively.
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.
Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
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