Tyler is not immune from the economic challenges facing retail stores across the country.

A few weeks ago, Linen N Things made its final sale to customers. Now it’s Circuit City and Goody’s Family Clothing Store’s goal to stay open until late March of 2009. Their closures will increase the unemployment rate to 51,000.

“It’s more challenging the way things are going in this market,” Annie Lan, coordinator of career services, said.

With the failure of these well-known businesses, locally and nationwide, it raises questions about how difficult it will be for college graduates to find jobs.

“I don’t think it will be easy because most companies require experience,” Jawarra Booker, TJC sophomore, said.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in December 2008 the number of unemployed persons increased by 632,000 to 11.1 million, and the unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent. Also, the number of people who completed temporary jobs rose by 315,000 to 6.5 million in December. Within professional and business services, the temporary help industry lost 81,000 jobs in December 2008, bringing job losses to 490,000 nationwide.

According to an article by Stephan Miller called “Anticipating a Tough 2009: Multinationals Plan Selective Workforce, Pay and Benefits Cut,” 54 percent said their employees had expressed a significant level of concern about the impact of economic turmoil on their retirement investments.

With the economy in such turmoil, students may realize that without a college degree or being highly experienced, it will be a challenge to find work.

“Just because you have the knowledge, does not mean you have the experience,” Booker said.

Millions of jobs are being cut, and a lot of employees who have remained with their companies for years have been laid off. This has thrown thousands of people into unemployment.

“Be more proactive. There are a lot of people going for the same job,” Lan said.

According to a recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, good prospects for college-level jobs, lower unemployment rates and higher median earnings are strong incentives for attending college.

“College students should not settle for the basics and strive for the best education”, Anthony Brock, HR Regional Manager of Big Lots, Inc., said. “Employers have the flexibility to choose the best from the qualified candidates and experience, giving them greater gratitude. They are going to face a tougher economy.”

There are many resources and tools for college graduates to access in search of jobs.

One resource is the career service center located on the first floor of Pirtle Technology in Room 128. It is a center for TJC students and non-students to come in and choose from thousands of books and browse Web sites designated to help them pursue their careers and find jobs.

In addition, the Office of Career Services has a magazine called National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Job Choices with tips and strategies for job search success.

Students can stop by and learn interviewing tips, find out about job fairs and make use of job search resources located in their resource room.

Even though the career service center is a valuable resource to students, it is also accessible to those who don’t attend the school.

Students can also turn to the web and use such resources as Monster.com, SnagAJob.com, and similar Web sites and that provide information to answer job seekers’ questions and concerns.

“It’s a challenge,” Lan said.

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