Class of 2024: Dip in Hiring Projections Follows Record Job Growth, Salaries Stable

Overall hiring for the college Class of 2024 is projected to dip by 1.9%, according to results of a new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

However, as NACE’s Job Outlook 2024 report points out, it is important to note that this is down from the last two years, when the college job market experienced brisk growth that, in 2022, reached record high levels. (See Figure 1.)

“To be sure, if the projections hold, members of the Class of 2024 are still entering a strong job market, although they may need to be flexible to attain the position they want,” says Shawn VanDerziel, NACE’s president and chief executive officer.

“It bodes well for the current class that more than three-quarters of responding employers rate the job market for the Class of 2024 from ‘good’ to ‘excellent,’ underscoring their perception of the current market’s strength.”

In addition, salary stability is evident as slightly more than 43% of employers plan to increase starting salaries to Class of 2024 bachelor’s degree graduates, and nearly all remaining employers anticipate keeping salaries at last year’s levels.

“These findings indicate that employers recognize the Class of 2024 as a strong source of talent to bring into their workforce and signal that there will be competition to hire graduates from this current class,” VanDerziel points out.

Figure 1

About Job Outlook 2024: Data for the Job Outlook 2024 survey were collected from August 2, 2023, through September 18, 2023. Of the 255 total respondents, 180 were NACE employer members, representing 20.3% of eligible member respondents. The Job Outlook 2024 survey was also distributed to nonmember companies, from which an additional 75 responses were received.

About the National Association of Colleges and Employers: Established in 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is the only professional association in the United States that connects nearly 11,000 college career services professionals, more than 3,600 university relations and recruiting professionals, and more than 400 business solution providers that serve this community.

NACE is the premier source of market research on career readiness, the employment of recent college graduates, and the college-to-career transition. NACE forecasts hiring and trends in the job market; tracks salaries, recruiting and hiring practices, and student attitudes and outcomes; and identifies best practices and benchmarks.

NACE offers its members unparalleled research, networking and professional development opportunities, guidance on standards and ethics, and advocacy on key issues. For more information, visit NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media.