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  • Job-Search Success Rates Stall on Climb Back to Pre-Recession Levels

    August 03, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Graduate Outcomes
    A hand reaches out to offer a job.

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    After taking a big hit in the wake of the recession, job-seeking students have since been making the gradual climb back up to their pre-recession levels of success. The Class of 2016 has stalled somewhat on this climb, according to results of NACE’s Class of 2016 Student Survey report.

    Overall, when the offer rate increases and the acceptance decreases, it signals that new graduates are gaining confidence in the job market and their ability to land a job.

    This year, the offer rate for Class of 2016 graduates is 46.2 percent, down from last year’s rate of 50.6 percent for Class of 2015 graduates. Meanwhile, the acceptance rate has jumped to 64 percent this year from 58 percent last year. (See Figure 1.)

    The current offer/acceptance rates are more in line with those seen in the period from 2012 through 2014. During that time, offer rates ranged from 45.9 to 47.9 percent, while the acceptance rates were similar to those posted for the Class of 2016.

    Although the “landing” rate—the percentage of job-applying students who received and ultimately accepted an offer—has remained flat over the last five years, it has improved significantly since the years immediately following the recession, and is even slightly higherthan its pre-recession level (26 percent).

    NACE’s 2016 Student Survey was conducted February 16 – April 30, 2016; more than 23,000 students at colleges and universities nationwide took part, including 5,600 graduating seniors. The survey report will be available in September.

    Figure 1: Success in the job search: 2008-16

    Year Offer Rate Acceptance Rate Landing Rate
    2008 52.0% 49.0% 26.0%
    2009 40.8% 45.1% 19.7%
    2010 38.2% 59.3% 24.4%
    2011 41.4% 57.9% 24.0%
    2012 47.7% 62.5% 29.8%
    2013 45.9% 63.9% 29.3%
    2014 47.9% 62.8% 30.1%
    2015 50.6% 58.0% 29.3%
    2016 46.2% 64.0% 29.6%
    Source: Class of 2016 Student Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Example of percentage calculations:
    100 students applied to jobs; 50 students received at least 1 job offer; 30 students accepted an offer.
    Offer Rate: 50/100 = 50 percent; Acceptance Rate: 30/50 = 60 percent; Landing Rate: 30/100 = 30 percent.