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  • Job Outlook: Employers Maintain Fall Hiring Projections

    April 19, 2017 | By NACE Staff

    Trends & Predictions
    A young man attends a job interview.

    TAGS: hiring outlook, surveys, spotlight

    When it comes to the latest hiring outlook for Class of 2017 graduates, employers appear to be holding steady with the original hiring projections that they provided last fall.

    NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 Spring Update found that employers anticipate hiring 5 percent more new college graduates from the Class of 2017 than they hired from the Class of 2016.

    Although the increase is down slightly from the original projection of 5.8 percent for the Class of 2017 that employers indicated in the Job Outlook 2017 survey in the fall, it remains consistent with findings from the last three Job Outlook surveys, all of which revealed increased hiring projections within the 5 to 6 percent range. (See Figure 1.)

    One factor to note is that the overall hiring projection includes both U.S. and international students who will be hired for U.S. positions only. An expected decrease in the hiring of international students for U.S. positions may be tempering the overall increase.

    Among respondents sharing their international student hiring plans, almost 46 percent are decreasing their international student hires within the United States, 30.3 percent are maintaining these hires, and just 24.2 percent are increasing these hires. This is not surprising as the Job Outlook 2017 survey found that the percentage of respondents planning to hire international students dropped from 32.8 percent for the Class of 2016 to just 27.5 percent for the Class of 2017—the lowest level since the Class of 2012.

    Still, since last fall, the group of respondents that are planning to decrease their college hires overall has dropped below 10 percent. Meanwhile, the groups planning to increase or maintain their hiring numbers have grown slightly since last fall’s report. (See Figure 2.)

    Data for the Job Outlook 2017 Spring Update survey were collected from February 14, 2017, through March 27, 2017. A total of 160 surveys were returned—a 16.7 percent response rate. The Job Outlook 2017 Spring Update report is available to members through MyNACE.

    Figure 1: Job Outlook Hiring Projections, 2012 – 2017*

    Year Fall Spring Update
    2012 9.5% 10.2%
    2013 13.0% 2.1%
    2014 7.8% 8.6%
    2015 8.3% 9.6%
    2016 11.0% 5.2%
    2017 5.8% 5.0%
    Source: Job Outlook 2017 Spring Update, National Association of Colleges and Employers
    * Please note: Projections for the Classes of 2014 to 2017 are for U.S. locations only. Prior years’ projections are shown for informational purposes only and should not be compared to projections for 2014 – 2017.


    Figure 2: Hiring Plans

    Job Outlook Percentage Increasing Hires Percentage Maintaining Hires Percentage Decreasing Hires
    Spring Update 2017 37.3% 54.0% 8.7%
    Job Outlook 2017 (Fall 2016) 36.3% 52.1% 11.6%
    Spring Update 2016 40.9% 22.0% 37.1%
    Source: Job Outlook 2017 Spring Update, National Association of Colleges and Employers