Why 1983 was 'one of the worst years' for university students
Jobs were very hard to come by, leaving students with few options for employment
Anything was better than nothing — if anything was actually available, job-wise.
Because as a cohort of young baby boomers reached the end of the university school year in 1983, there weren't a lot of jobs to be found.
"This is one of the worst years for graduating students to find work," The National's Knowlton Nash told viewers on March 2, 1983, telling them something the parents of those students probably already knew.
The only thing students could do was try to gain an edge by checking job postings at university placement centres and hope to spot something that was a good fit.
"Only a lucky few get to be interviewed," said reporter Sheldon Turcott, who interviewed students, a recruiter and a university official about the challenging job market that year.
'No one should have to just give you a job'
Jeff Gibson, an electrical engineering student, was one of those soon-to-be graduates who managed to get himself in front of a potential employer. He seemed to understand how difficult it was to gain employment.
"No one should have to just give you a job," said Gibson. "You would have to go and earn it, I would think."
Cathy Fellicioni, a placement officer at the University of Toronto, said graduating students were going through a range of emotions when confronting the very tough job market.
"They're frustrated. Some are depressed, some are angry, some are adopting a wait-and-see attitude," she told The National.
'Worse than I've ever seen it'
Things were similarly tough for undergraduates who were seeking summer employment.
Susan Hess, an undergraduate architecture student, told The National she would take whatever job she could get.
"It's been terrible, it's been worse than I've ever seen it," Hess said.
Unfortunately, things weren't going to get any easier for Hess and other students in the months ahead.
In September 1983, The National was again reporting on the plight of Canada's university students who were flocking to campus in record numbers that fall, in part because of the lack of economic opportunities for them.