Erm. We don't have comps (big grin), we only have field exams at the end of second year, in August (and have to pass the courses, of course). I'm not sure when re-takes for those are, but I would agree with you that it should help Master's students to hear sooner. Having completed a master's program before starting on the Ph.D., I found that most of my classmates did find great jobs even when they started the job search directly upon graduation, pretty darned quickly, but even so results were probably marginally better if you started to look sooner; the main advantage with time would probably just be peace of mind, though. Actually, I recall that for a bunch of programs, recruiting schedules start in September or in the fall, at any rate, which doesn't really help with your options. But if you want to press for hearing earlier, go for it! Life is short, so I can see other advantages.