US Employers Hesitant to Hire College Graduates Involved in Pro-Palestinian Protests

By Thea Felicity

May 27, 2024 11:26 AM EDT

A student waves a Palestinian flag near tents before the evacuation of pro-Palestinian student activists who occupied the main courtyard of the Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS), rue d'Ulm, in Paris, on May 26, 2024.
(Photo : JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images)

The class of 2024 faces a tough challenge in the job market as US employers express growing apprehension about hiring them, according to a recent survey shared by CNBC. 

In detail, the survey revealed that among 1,268 business leaders across the US, 64% of employers have voiced concerns regarding hiring graduates over the past five years. 

Notably, nearly a third of employers are reluctant to hire recent graduates who have participated in pro-Palestinian protests within the last six months, with an additional 22% expressing hesitance toward those who have attended such demonstrations.

These protests have escalated across US college campuses since the onset of the Israel-Hamas conflict. 

With casualties surpassing 1,200 in Israel and over 35,000 in Gaza, tensions have escalated, prompting students from institutions like Columbia University to engage in demonstrations, as reported by VCPost.

READ NEXT: Israel to Shut Down Al Jazeera Until the War Ends; Netanyahu Cites National Security Concerns

Why US Employers Will Not Protesters

Of those 1,268 business leaders, almost two-thirds cite potential aggressive behavior in the workplace as a primary concern. While over half expressed discomfort due to perceived excessive political engagement, fearing it could create an uncomfortable environment for other employees. 

Some employers viewed protesters as liabilities, dangerous, or lacking adequate education, while others cited differing political beliefs as a deterrent.

Chief Education and Career Development Advisor at, Huys Nguyen, cautioned against hiring based on political affiliations. He emphasized the importance of prioritizing candidates' skills, experience, and qualifications over personal beliefs to avoid perpetuating biases in the workplace.

Interestingly, the survey also revealed a divergence in opinion among business leaders, with 21% expressing interest in hiring graduates involved in protests, appreciating their outspokenness and alignment with their values.

However, the majority of leaders remained neutral on the subject.

READ MORE: Meta And Snapchat Deny Limiting Palestinian Content Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict

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