Falling unemployment numbers signal hope for GV graduates


GVL / Meghan Tripp

Zoë Murphy, Staff Writer

As the school year moves into the second half of the fall 2022 semester those graduating from Grand Valley State University this December are beginning to search for employment in their chosen field.

As those graduating begin their job search, the local job market will weigh heavily on their ability to secure employment after receiving their degree.

According to a press release by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Michigan has experienced a decline in unemployment numbers that signal good news for those graduating soon.

In Michigan, the BLS calculated a 4.1% unemployment rate in September. This was down from 5.7% a year prior, yet higher than the current national unemployment rate.

“The national unemployment rate edged down to 3.5 percent over the month and was 1.2 percentage points lower than in September 2021,” the Bureau said in the statement.

With falling unemployment numbers in Michigan over the last year, potential growth in the job market represents an opportunity for students finishing school this year.

Students like GVSU senior Anna Norton, graduating in December, hope to use the favorable jobs outlook and their collegiate experiences to their advantage.

Studying special education, Norton gave insight into the process of graduating, finding a job and preparing to be released into the real world.

“Student teaching is the first step in the job search process because I’m making connections in schools, and that is like an internship that will hopefully open more doors into getting a teaching job in the future,” Norton said.

For aspiring teachers, the job search is usually based on a foundation of student teaching.

Being an education major is enough to have the university place students in student teaching positions.

“GVSU gives us our student teaching placement,” Norton said. “I’m at an elementary school in Wyoming.”

Internships or any real-world experience in a student’s chosen field often prove vital to the job search process.

Norton said the process of being placed in a school and how GVSU has been able to help her in her search for a teaching job after graduating.

“Once I graduate, I’ll have to figure out which schools are hiring,” Norton said. “After that, I will send over my resume and hopefully acquire multiple interviews.”

With GVSU’s location near Michigan’s second largest city of Grand Rapids, many who receive their degree from GVSU are able to find many job opportunities just miles away.

In addition, the Career Center at GVSU provides resources for finding internships and real-world experience to add to a resume.

Those seeking additional tools to aid in their post-graduation search can visit the Career Center’s website.