Colleges Keep an Eye on Reports About Jobs, Revenue—and Crops

Colleges Eye Jobs Reports, Revenue Projections­—and Crops 1

Beverly Taylor, The Birmingham News, Landov

Prospective employees lined up for a job fair in Bessemer, Ala., this spring. Many college officials pay attention to employment data because joblessness puts pressure on financial-aid budgets and affects students' decisions about enrolling.

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close Colleges Eye Jobs Reports, Revenue Projections­—and Crops 1

Beverly Taylor, The Birmingham News, Landov

Prospective employees lined up for a job fair in Bessemer, Ala., this spring. Many college officials pay attention to employment data because joblessness puts pressure on financial-aid budgets and affects students' decisions about enrolling.

What tea leaves do you read?

For college leaders trying to plan for the months and years ahead—whether they oversee academic affairs, admissions, or revenues, expenses, and investments—there's no shortage of economic indicators to consult. Catch a TV newscast or glance at Google News, and you're likely to find something like the federal government's May unemployment figures—which registered an uptick to 9.1 percent from 9 percent in April—or maybe an account of