Job Market Favors Seekers, Still Competitive

Despite the recession caused by the impact of COVID-19, Oregon State University graduates pursuing a career can look forward to a quickly recovering job market that remains competitive.  

Patrick O’Connor, Oregon’s regional employment economist for Benton, Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties, predicts a swift economic recovery as soon as public health regulations are what they were pre-pandemic. 

Whereas Corvallis had a slower economic recovery in the 2008 recession, this recession is expected to be different. O’Connor anticipates a quick recovery because people saved money during the pandemic and will spend it when regulations are lifted.  

“It’s lining up to be very much a job seeker’s market,” O’Connor said to The Daily Barometer. “It’s going to be labor market forces that we haven’t seen for decades, probably since the 1990s.” 

Jonathan Stoll, the director of Career Education at Oregon State, said that though the prospects are promising, it is still important to stand out as a job candidate. 

“It’s still competitive,” Stoll told the Barometer. “There’s always going to be more than one person applying to a job.” 

Stoll said when working with students he puts an emphasis on showing people related skills to businesses wanting to hire such as problem solving, cultural fluency, leadership and communication. He also encouraged students to look into the tools offered through the Career Development Center to assist in the job hunt.  

“The underlying value is believing in yourself and genuinely having confidence in who you are,” Stoll said. 

The most important thing is to find a professional network that has your back, especially during the pandemic. It is not so much what you know, Stoll said, it’s who you know and who knows you. Effort put into professional and social connections will help students with things from emotional support to job references when they want to enter the market after graduation. 

Stoll concluded with, “The COVID-19 pandemic has just accentuated what has already been important.” 

By: Hannah Ramsey