PORTLAND (AP) – With the economy teetering, prospects are not looking bright for next spring’s crop of college graduates in Maine.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers projected last month that the number of jobs available for the Class of 2009 would remain flat. Fifty-two percent of the companies surveyed expect to hire fewer graduates than last year.

College career counselors say more recent graduates are calling and looking for help after getting laid off or hired for jobs that failed to materialize.

There are exceptions. The number of accounting firms looking for University of Southern Maine students is up, a USM career services official says.

Career counselors also say this generation of college students knows all about networking – reaching out to family, friends of parents and alumni for help in job searches.

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