The Chicago Tribune reports that hiring trends among companies that are searching for college graduates are showing signs of life compared to a year ago.

The news source notes that employers plan to increase hiring by 13.5 percent from 2010, and in February, 53 percent of respondents said that they expected to hire more college graduates this year, up from less than 50 percent in the fall, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employees (NACE).

In addition, The Sonoma Star reports a 3.5 percent increase in starting salary offers to college seniors – the first initial salary offer increase reported by the NACE since 2008.

"I don't feel too worried about the job market, with my major I feel there are always jobs available," Campbell Smith, an engineering science major, told the news source.

The media outlet adds that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 192,000 more jobs were added to the workforce during month of February. Strong gains were seen in the service, manufacturing and healthcare sector. The nationwide unemployment rate for March fell to 8.8 percent – down 0.1 percent from February.  

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