Employer Hiring Plans Jump for Class of 2022 Graduates

November 11, 2021 | By Kevin Gray

person typing on a laptop

TAGS: nace insights, surveys, trends and predictions,

Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

Employers plan to hire 26.6% more new graduates from the Class of 2022 than they did from the Class of 2021, according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2022 report.

The data NACE collected in its Job Outlook 2022 survey appear to be in line with job opening trends in general. With job openings exceeding 10 million and the unemployment rate now below 5%, employers are obviously viewing a very competitive labor market.

This is also evident in the Job Outlook 2022 results that show that almost 60% of responding employers have plans to increase hires this year, compared to just 16.5% last year. Furthermore, the largest group of respondents (48.6%) rate the overall job market for Class of 2022 graduates as “very good” and 14.1% rate it as “excellent.” This is compared to last year, when just 3.9% of respondents rated the overall job market for Class of 2021 graduates as “very good” and 0.5% deemed it “excellent.”

The Job Outlook survey is a forecast of hiring intentions of employers as they relate to new college graduates. Data for the Job Outlook 2022 survey were collected from August 18, 2021, through October 1, 2021. Of the 157 total respondents, 116 were NACE employer members, representing 15.7 percent of eligible member respondents. The Job Outlook 2022 survey was also distributed to nonmember companies from which an additional 41 responses were received. The Job Outlook 2022 report is available in MyNACE.

Figure 1: Job Outlook Hiring Projections, 2011 – 2022*

Fall 26.6%
Spring UpdateNA
Fall -0.1%
Spring Update7.2%
Fall 5.8%
Spring Update6.3%
Fall 16.6%
Spring Update10.7%
Fall 4.0%
Spring Update-1.3%
Year Fall Spring Update
2022 26.6% NA
2021 -0.1% 7.2%
2020 5.8% 6.3%
2019 16.6% 10.7%
2018 4.0% -1.3%
Source: Job Outlook 2022, National Association of Colleges and Employers. *Projections are for U.S. locations only.