Bad news for my journalism students:

The sharp downturn in the national economy and the collapse of the economic model for media industries had significant impact on the job market that the 2008 journalism and mass communication graduates entered as they completed their studies.

As a result, significantly fewer of them than a year earlier–when the job market already was weak by historical standards–had at least one job offer on graduation, were able even to land a job interview, or find full-time employment.

These are the key findings of the Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates, released Aug. 5 at the meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in Boston.

Only six in 10 of the graduates had full-time employment six to eight months after graduation. That is the lowest level of full-time employment reported by graduates of the nation’s journalism and mass communication programs in the 23-year modern history of the graduate survey.

The only good news for 2008 graduates was that those who did find work received the same average salary as graduates a year earlier. With deflation, that actually represented a very slight increase in purchasing power capability.

But my local Panera Bread is hiring!