Job-hunting grads in the DC area have better prospects than many

College graduates seeking jobs and hiring managers are adapting to new employment processes during the coronavirus pandemic. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/AndreyPopov)

The coronavirus pandemic has turned all corners of the economy upside down, including the job search process for recent college graduates.

But with patience and adapting to the new challenges, hiring managers and job seekers are figuring out the new norm.

And while prospects for newer, young professionals are constrained, the Washington, D.C.-area’s job market for them is still fairly robust.

“The D.C. market is definitely a versatile one. We have a range of industries from nonprofits, health care systems, technology services, government agencies and government contractors. Not every industry is struggling right now, and some are really continuing to hire during this pandemic,” Beth Sears, at staffing firm Robert Half in D.C., told WTOP.

Apartment List, whose researchers track the movements and lifestyles of renters, mostly young ones, ranks D.C. as the third-best Metro for College Grads 2020, behind San Jose and San Francisco.

The average wage for recent college grads in the D.C. area is just under $52,000 a year, fifth-highest in the nation.

Helping this region’s job market for young professionals is that almost 80% are working, or seeking work, in a remote-friendly occupation, making it easier to find and secure a job. The Washington area has been at the forefront of developing work options that appeal to young professionals.

“We are in the middle of a digital and contingent workforce transformation,” Sears said. “Recent college graduates along with new graduates are the reason companies started looking for things such as unlimited paid time off, flexible work schedules and work from home options well before COVID-19.”

That doesn’t mean the hiring process isn’t more challenging for both job seekers and hiring managers.

Sears said that managers were “thrown a huge curveball” due to the pandemic. However, once companies adjust to their new reality, hiring will not be seen as such an impossible task.

“For hiring to be effective right now, companies must have a strong virtual on boarding processes for their new hires,” Sears said.

“They really need to make sure they have the right technology.”

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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