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by Shayla Silva

For Matthew Prisco, finding a part-time job as a full-time student was a challenge.

Since the economic recession started in Dec. 2007, Prisco, a senior anthropology major, has been forced to move between three different electronics stores.

In July 2009, the number of unemployed young people ages 16 to 24 was 4.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number was an increase of nearly 1 million from July 2008.

“When the overall job market is down, the job market for college students that are graduating and trying to launch their careers is down, too,” said Lynn Hansen, executive director of Career Services.

Prisco moved to Orlando without a job in April 2007. He lived off of savings from his previous employment at Best Buy in South Florida. After four months in Orlando, he finally got a job at a Dell Direct Store kiosk in the Orlando Fashion Square Mall.

Just five months later, Prisco was unemployed again. Dell had closed all 140 of its U.S. kiosks in early 2008.

For the next three months, he put in applications anywhere he could. His parents supported him for six months until he found a job at Futuretronics in the Mall at Millenia.

Although he found employment, Prisco said that the electronic business continues to struggle.

“The mall is pretty quiet,” Prisco said. “Our stores are getting murdered. People just don’t have the money to spend on our products.”

This semester, Career Services at UCF saw a traffic increase in its offices. Bill Blank, director of Career Development, said that students are taking Career Services more seriously because employers are being cautious about bringing in new staff.

“Students need [jobs] now more than ever before,” Blank said.

Job opportunities at university businesses have also taken hits from the economic crisis.

Langston Anderson, store manager of Knight Aide, a convenience store and pharmacy in the Knights Plaza, agreed that students are suffering because of the recession.

“We can only hire Work Study students right now,” Anderson said.

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