But the news isn't all good. The uptick in job additions is limited to only 300 or 400 companies in the survey -- most of them very large firms or rapidly growing smaller ones. Midsize companies, the report says, may continue to cut jobs.
While the situation for MBAs looks pretty good, the study forecasts a decline in hiring for those with other graduate degrees.
The data in the report is a microcosm of the national employment picture. Many companies are in a position to hire when they want and pay what they want. This is due to several factors. One is an increase in productivity throughout most of the recession. Companies have squeezed more work out of their existing workforce. People are probably willing to do more without additional compensation to stay off unemployment lines.
Another reason for the change in the job landscape is that more skilled older workers are competing with younger counterparts for work. The recession and a drop in equity markets, which damaged the retirement accounts of many people over 55, has pushed many older workers back into the job market place.
And probably the harshest reality for college graduates is that many firms believe the recession isn't over -- or that there's a reasonable chance of a double dip. These firms won't add expenses until they feel more certain that a real economic recovery is underway.