May 14, 2024 - News

More college grads are looking at Richmond for jobs

A bar chart showing the change in the share of new grads applying to jobs in select cities, 2023 to 2024. New York City saw the largest increase in applicant share, up 1.35 percentage points to a total of 9.1% in 2024. Other top gainers were Texas City, Salt Lake City, and Boise. The biggest loser was Atlanta, losing 0.46 percentage points.
Data: Handshake; Chart: Axios Visuals

More recent graduates are eyeing Richmond this year for a post-college move, per a new report from Handshake, a campus recruitment website.

State of play: Virginia Beach and Richmond ranked in the top 15 of cities that saw the biggest increases over last year in the share of jobs applications from recent college graduates, Handshake's data shows.

  • Virginia Beach saw a 0.15 percentage point increase, the sixth highest in the nation.
  • Richmond had the 14th highest increase, at 0.11 percentage points.
  • Hampton and some Northern Virginia counties also saw small increases, while Charlottesville, Roanoke, Norfolk and Arlington saw slight year over year decreases in college grad job applications.

The big picture: Class of 2024 graduates are looking at careers and cities that offer job security, work/life balance and the ability to live near family and friends.

  • "76% of this class says that stability is the No. 1 factor they'll be considering," Christine Cruzvergara, Handshake's chief education strategy officer, tells Axios.
  • Location was the No. 2 factor, cited by 75% of students surveyed.

Zoom in: This year's graduating college seniors are seeking the security of a government job, and fewer are applying to risky-seeming tech jobs, per the report.

  • The IRS and the Department of Health and Human Services have been particularly popular among applicants.

Yes, but: New York City continues to be the most popular destination for class of 2024 applicants, attracting 9.1% of total applications.

  • Rounding out the top five destinations are Chicago, with 4.8% of applications, D.C., Dallas and Atlanta with around 3% each.

Reality check: Richmond's share of total job applications per the survey was a paltry 0.71% — the 34th highest in the country — but nailed the No. 1 spot for Virginia cities.

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