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  • U.S. College Hiring to Increase by Almost 17 Percent

    November 14, 2018 | By NACE Staff

    Trends & Predictions
    A recent college graduate interviews with a hiring manager. Job Outlook 2019.

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

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    Employers plan to hire 16.6 percent more new graduates from the Class of 2019 than they did from the Class of 2018 for positions in the United States, according to results of NACE’s Job Outlook 2019 survey.

    This comes as welcome news, especially since employers reported an overall decrease in hiring for Class of 2018 graduates. This year marks the best initial hiring outlook since the Class of 2007.* (See Figure 1.)

    Over the past three recruiting years, the largest group of employers indicated plans to maintain their individual hiring numbers. The trend continues this year as 57.4 percent of employers plan to keep their number of college hires the same. (See Figure 2.) While 38.6 percent of responding employers plan to increase their hires, perhaps the most encouraging finding is that just 4 percent of respondents will decrease their hires. This represents less than half of last year’s respondents (9.6 percent) that planned to decrease hires, and it is the smallest group with these plans in the past seven years.

    Employers pointed to several factors for their hiring plans:

    • Increasing hiring—An improved economy, company growth, anticipated retirements, and a focus on early talent/succession planning were reasons cited almost universally among these respondents. In addition, several others in this group reported that they plan to concentrate on converting more interns to full-time hires, thus increasing their overall hiring numbers.
    • Maintaining hiring—Most of these respondents indicated that the growth in their respective companies is steady, so they have no need to increase or decrease their numbers. Other respondents reported that they hired aggressively in the past few years, so they will maintain college hiring at their current levels.
    • Decreasing hiring—Among this small group, not all cited negative factors. A few mentioned that they had hired more graduates last year than expected, so they will cut back slightly this year. Others noted college recruiting programs that are currently on hold or being revamped. Just one respondent indicated that it will hire fewer new college graduates because it expects smaller growth in the organization during the coming year.

    Data for the Job Outlook 2019 survey were collected from August 1, 2018, through October 8, 2018. A total of 172 surveys were returned—an 18.5 percent response rate. The Job Outlook 2019 report is available free to members through MyNACE. Nonmembers can purchase the report through the NACE Store.

    Figure 1: Job Outlook Hiring Projections, 2007-2019*

    Class Year Fall Spring
    2019 16.6% NA
    2018 4.0% -1.3%
    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%
    2011 13.5% 19.3%
    2010 -6.9% 5.3%
    2009 1.3% -21.6%
    2008 16.0% 8.0%
    2007 17.4% 19.2%
    Source: Job Outlook 2019, National Association of Colleges and Employers. *Projections prior to 2014 were for both international and U.S. positions.

    Figure 2: Employers’ Hiring Expectations

    Class Year Increase Maintain Decrease
    2018-19 38.6% 57.4% 4.0%
    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 2019, National Association of Colleges and Employers