U niversity of Colorado students searching for part-time work or internship positions this spring may benefit from cautious business leaders who said they’re still weary of investing in full-time employees, according to a university report released Wednesday.
National uncertainty about taxes and worker compensation are creating hesitation early in the new year among Colorado’s business leaders, according to the Leeds Business Confidence Index first quarter predictions.
Richard Wobbekind, economist in the Leeds School of Business, said hiring plans slipped into negative territory for the first quarter of 2013 — to 49.3 out of a possible 100 — due to concerns from industry leaders about how tax breaks and health care will impact businesses.
While businesses remain hesitant to hire full-time employees, Wobbekind said students seeking part-time or internship experience may be able to find work since those spots are less costly for growing companies to employ.
Across all factors — including the national and state economies, industry sales and profits, hiring and capital expenditures — confidence remained fairly consistent with 2012 reports staying modestly optimistic, Wobbekind said.
Helen Zucchini, director of Leed’s Career Connections, said internships are not often affected by general unemployment rates because they are lower risk and don’t always count toward a company’s “head count.”
“Even if a department can’t hire new employees, a lot of them can pay an intern out of their budget,” Zucchini said. “It’s a win-win because the company gets extra help without having to take on a new full-time employee.”
Zucchini said, like internships, entry-level positions haven’t been hit as hard by the recession, allowing some students to transform internships into full-time jobs.
“I expect that things will start to improve now that there has been a temporary answer to the fiscal cliff,” Wobbekind said. “I think around mid-year we will start to see a boost in hiring that will provide jobs for graduates.”
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