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  • Employers Expect to Boost College Hiring by Nearly 6 Percent

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Employers anticipate hiring 5.8 percent more new college graduates from the Class of 2020 than they did from the Class of 2019 for positions in the United States, according to results of a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    Although this year’s hiring increase is down significantly from last year, results of NACE’s Job Outlook 2020 survey might indicate a return to normal levels of anticipated hiring. This year’s increase is more in line with the results in recent years; in fact, it is identical to where hiring began for the Class of 2017. (See Figure 1.)

    For the fifth consecutive year, the largest group of employers (48.2 percent) will maintain their individual hiring numbers. In addition, 45.5 percent are planning to increase their individual hires, with the remaining 6.3 percent expecting to decrease their hiring numbers. (See Figure 2.)

    Even though the Class of 2020 is beginning with the same overall planned hiring increase as that for the Class of 2017, there are positive differences in this year’s results. For example, when compared to the results for the Class of 2017, nearly 10 percent more respondents are increasing hiring and 5 percent fewer respondents are decreasing hiring for the Class of 2020.

    When asked to cite the reasons influencing their individual hiring numbers, many of the respondents to the Job Outlook 2020 survey reported company growth as a catalyst for increasing hires. A large group also pointed to the success of their internship program and indicated plans to increase their hiring by converting more interns.

    Figure 1: Job Outlook Hiring Projections, 2012-20*

    Year Fall Spring
    2020 5.8% NA
    2019 16.6% 10.7%
    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%
    Source: Job Outlook 2020, National Association of Colleges and Employers
    *Projections prior to 2014 were for both international and U.S. positions.

    Figure 2: Employers’ Hiring Expectations

    Year Increase Maintain Decrease
    2019-20 45.5% 48.2% 6.3%
    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 2020, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    About Salary Survey: Data for the Job Outlook 2020 survey were collected from August 1, 2019, through September 30, 2019. This year’s data collection not only surveyed 905 NACE employer members, but also 2,229 employer organizations that were nonmembers. A total of 150 surveys were returned; 115 were NACE members and the remaining 35 were nonmembers. Of those responding, 10 percent are from New England, 10.7 percent are from the Southwest, 12.7 percent are from the Southeast, 12.7 percent are from the Rocky Mountain/Far West, 13.3 percent are from the Plains, 18 percent are from the Mideast, and 22.7 percent are from the Great Lakes.

    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 www.naceweb.org. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media.