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  • Job Outlook 2018: College Hiring to Increase by 4 Percent

    November 15, 2017 | By NACE Staff

    Trends & Predictions
    A group of recruiters.

    TAGS: hiring outlook, trends and predictions, surveys, spotlight

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    Employers plan to hire 4 percent more new graduates for their U.S. operations from the Class of 2018 than they did from the Class of 2017, according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2018 survey.

    While the 4 percent increase is lower than the hiring projections over the past several years, it continues to point to a positive job market for new college graduates. (See Figure 1.)

    Evidence of this continued positive trend can be found in comparing individual hiring expectations from last year to this year. In the Job Outlook 2017 survey, 36 percent planned to increase hiring, and more than half of respondents had plans to maintain their hiring numbers. This year, the percentage of responding organizations that plan to increase their hires has increased to 43.7 percent, with those maintaining their numbers dropping to 46.7 percent. Also this year, fewer than 10 percent plan to cut their number of hires. (See Figure 2.)

    Among those employers planning to increase their hires, company growth, retirements, and the need for entry-level talent were the primary drivers behind hiring plans.

    Data for the Job Outlook 2018 survey were collected from August 9, 2017, through October 2, 2017. A total of 201 surveys were returned—a 20.5 percent response rate. The Job Outlook 2018 report is available free to members through MyNACE. Nonmembers can purchase the report through the NACE Store.

    Figure 1: Job Outlook Hiring Projections, 2012 – 2018*

    Class Year Fall Spring
    2018 4.0% NA
    2017 5.8% 5.0%
    2016 11.0% 5.2%
    2015 8.3% 9.6%
    2014 7.8% 8.6%
    2013 13.0% 2.1%
    2012 9.5% 10.5%
    Source: Job Outlook 2018, National Association of Colleges and Employers. *Years 2014 through 2018 are the hiring projections for U.S. locations only. Projections provided for 2012 and 2013 include hiring projections for U.S. and non-U.S. locations; they are provided for informational purposes only and should not be compared to projections for 2014 and beyond.

    Figure 2: Employers’ Hiring Expectations

    Recruiting Year Increase Maintain Decrease
    2017-18 43.7% 46.7% 9.6%
    2016-17 36.3% 52.1% 11.6%
    2015-16 40.1% 46.7% 13.2%
    2014-15 46.4% 45.9% 7.7%
    2013-14 48.6% 45.3% 6.1%
    2012-13 47.5% 42.4% 10.1%
    2011-12 50.8% 27.4% 11.8%
    Source: Job Outlook 2018, National Association of Colleges and Employers.