By PATRICK LYONS
Capital News Service
LANSING — Midwest employers plan to hire more recent college graduates, but at a lesser rate than the national average, experts say. Employers in the eastern Midwest — Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana — want 6 percent more new graduates than they did last year, according to the Midwest Colleges and Employers Association Regional Report on College Hiring 2011-2012. That’s less than the 10.2 percent increase expected nationwide, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers in Bethlehem, Pa. The Midwest report, by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University, said hiring of those with a bachelor’s degree will rise by 9 percent in the eastern Midwest. “We have begun to see an improvement in hiring, particularly in the east side of the Great Lakes,” said Phil Gardner, director of the institute.