BETHLEHEM, PA—Employers expect to bump up their hiring of new college graduates for U.S. positions, according to new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Overall, employers taking part in NACE’s annual Job Outlook survey reported they would hire 5.8 percent more new college graduates from the Class of 2017 than they hired from the Class of 2016.
In comparison, last year at this time employers projected an 11 percent increase for 2016 graduates, although that increase dropped to just above 5 percent in a later update. (See Figure 1.)
More than half of responding employers (52 percent) reported plans to maintain their college hiring at last year’s levels, and that plays a key role in the lackluster nature of the current projected increase. (See Figure 2.)
While the overall increase reflects a relatively flat market, most of the responding employers characterized the job market for 2017 graduates as “good” or better. (See Figure 3.)
At the bachelor’s degree level, graduates with degrees in business, engineering, and computer/information sciences are expected to be most in demand.
NACE will update college hiring projections in April.
Figure 1: Job Outlook hiring projections, 2014 – 2017
Figure 2: Employers’ hiring expectations
Figure 3: Employers rate the job market for 2016-17 graduates
About the Job Outlook 2017 Survey: The Job Outlook survey is a forecast of hiring intentions of employers as they relate to new college graduates. Each year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveys its employer members about their hiring plans and other employment-related issues in order to project the market for new college graduates for the current class and to assess a variety of conditions that may influence that market. The survey is conducted in two parts: fall and spring. This release is based on data gathered in the fall. Data were collected from August 5, 2016, through October 4, 2016, for the Job Outlook 2017 survey. A total of 169 NACE-member organizations participated—a 17 percent response rate. By region, 13.6 percent of respondents were from the West, 26.6 percent were from the Northeast, 25.4 percent were from the Southeast, and 34.3 percent were from the Midwest.
NACE will update its hiring projections in April 2017.
About NACE: Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit http://www.naceweb.org. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media at http://www.naceweb.org/press-releases.aspx.