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NE Louisiana Job Market Limiting to College Graduates
Monroe (LA) News-Star ^ | 05-04-03 | Faulkner, Leesha

Posted on 05/04/2003 7:09:01 AM PDT by Theodore R.

Graduates find area job market limiting Leesha Faulkner / Education Editor Posted on May 4, 2003

Rachel Childress stood at the back of a conference room at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She clutched a certificate and a copy of the "Merck Index."

The certificate, bestowed last month at ULM's Academic Awards Convocation, honored the ULM senior's outstanding status in chemistry. The book provided information about chemicals, drugs and biological agents. They both mean a lot to Childress. A job for this former Monroe resident means more.

The 24-year-old with a 3.5 grade point average works as a chemist for Georgia Pacific in Logansport.

"The chemical companies here weren't hiring," she explained.

Future of the region

In northeastern Louisiana, job markets for university graduates fluctuate, depending on the field of work, according to local job experts.

The Louisiana Department of Labor Office of Information Services has projected occupations for the region through 2008. According to that projection, the greatest amount of job growth in this region calls for general managers and top executives.

Educational requirements for general managers and top executives call for work experience plus a bachelor's degree with starting pay about $19.08 per hour. About 3,620 of those positions should be available in 2008, according to labor statistics.

Other jobs in the region requiring four-year degrees include computer systems analysts, teachers and social workers, excluding medical and psychiatric.

However, it's uncertain how many of this year's approximately 2,000 graduates from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University will remain in Louisiana to fill those and other job positions.

Collegiate influence

Career placement offices at Tech, Grambling and ULM don't keep statistics on where their graduates find jobs.

At Tech, graduates are given surveys to fill out upon graduation, but most don't return those surveys, said Cheryl Myers, director of the Career Center at Tech.

However, Myers connects enough students with prospective employers to know

general trends.

"I think we have a mix of both," she said. "Some want to stay in Louisiana and northeast Louisiana. You have a mix here."

Vickie Jackson, spokeswoman for Grambling, said most of their graduates would seek employment elsewhere in Louisiana or out of state.

"A lot of our students come from out of state, and we have a lot of big companies that recruit our students," she said.

Evidence points to a brain drain, although the state has no hard data supporting such a trend. The Department of Labor doesn't have those statistics; neither does Gov. Mike Foster's office or the Louisiana Board of Regents.

But observations, based on data, show trends of out-migration.

Some observations from Wall's study, based on 1999-2000 data and with a variation of 6 percent, include:

-- Prediction that 28 percent of new bachelor's degree-holders would be underemployed and/or tend to out-migrate.

-- Study of graduates of three local universities revealed that 34 percent of degree-holders weren't employed in Louisiana four years after their graduation in 1996-97.

The good news, according to Wall's figures is the labor market has growth potential over the next 10 years or so and most residents are interested in staying in the local area even at a financial or opportunity cost, unless this becomes too great.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: jobmarket; jobs; limiting; louisiana; monroe
Louisiana has long had a "brain drain" as college graduates leave the state in search of greater employment possibilities. Officials have yet to find the solution to this continual problem.
1 posted on 05/04/2003 7:09:01 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: Theodore R.
Dont come to my state, there are no jobs here.
2 posted on 05/21/2003 5:01:16 PM PDT by waterstraat
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To: waterstraat
Well, what is your state? Quite a few states have a shortage of well-paying jobs.
3 posted on 05/21/2003 8:00:10 PM PDT by Theodore R.
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