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Interview: College Graduates Reap the Benefits of Best Market in Decades

Executive Vice President Mick Doherty of Dahl Consulting (DAHL) sits down with Nick Halter of AXIOS Twin Cities to discuss how new grads starting their first job out of college have a lot of leverage with their new employers. Employers are willing to pay a premium for fresh, young talent, and new grads can be selective in where they work.

Students graduating college this spring are entering what many career experts say is the best job market in years.

What’s happening: Minnesota has a record low unemployment rate of 2.2%. Plus, college grads can now take jobs at faraway companies and work remotely in the Twin Cities, further expanding their options.

  • “This is the best job market in decades,” said Mick Doherty, Executive Vice President of Dahl Consulting, an Edina-based staffing and recruiting firm.

Why it matters: Unlike their millennial cousins, new Gen Z grads get to be selective in where they work and have the leverage to command larger starting salaries.

Between the lines: It’s not just bigger salaries that grads want. They’re also looking for companies that are a cultural match, provide clear responsibilities and offer flexibility, mainly in the form of hybrid work, Doherty said.

  • The tables have turned in the interview process, he added. “Graduates are interviewing the company to make sure it’s a right fit for them.”

Yes, but: While the job market is robust, new grads have some challenges.

  • Some will start a job and work completely remotely, which doesn’t allow for face-to-face contact.

The bottom line: While wages are up, so is inflation. The biggest expense for new grads is an apartment, and the average rent in the metro area is now nearly $1,400, up 4.9% over a year ago.

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