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Collage of a college graduate standing on an open laptop with money, a suitcase and multiple pens in the background
Vanessa Garcia / Money; Getty Images

The Class of 2023 is on the hunt for job stability, a hybrid work style and an adequate salary to afford post-grad life in the age of inflation.

The priorities of this year's seniors — a group that had to move out of their freshman dorms to take classes online as the country shut down in March 2020 — continue to be shaped by the pandemic and the uncertain economy left in its wake.

“What’s really important to students these days is that they have a place that they can go to that feels stable, and a place where they're going to be able to grow and learn new things,” says Shawn VanDerziel, executive director of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Recession fears can make it feel like a scary time to begin a career, but overall, the Class of 2023 is job searching in a fairly strong labor market, with unemployment at 3.4%, the lowest level in 50 years, experts say. Young people tend to have much higher unemployment rates than the working population at large, but there's also a bright spot here: Both the unemployment rate and underemployment rate for workers under 24 is lower this year than it was last year, according to the Economic Policy Institute. That means in some industries, graduates could have more job options than they would've last year.

Here's what the soon-to-be newest hires say they want.