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  • Employers Plan to Increase College Hiring by 5.8 Percent

    November 15, 2019 | By NACE Staff

    Trends & Predictions
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    Employers plan to hire 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 NACE’s Job Outlook 2020 survey.

    At this time last year, employers were planning an increase in college hiring of nearly 17 percent. However, this year’s results might merely signal a return to normal levels of anticipated hiring. While a significant drop from last year, this year’s increase is identical to where hiring began for the Class of 2017 and is more in line with the results in recent years. (See Figure 1.)

    The largest group of employers (48.2 percent) will maintain their individual hiring numbers, marking the fifth consecutive year that this is occurring. In addition, 45.5 percent have plans to increase their individual hires, with the remaining 6.3 percent planning to decrease hiring numbers. (See Figure 2.)

    Although the Class of 2017 may have begun with the same overall planned hiring increase of 5.8 percent, the Class of 2020 has nearly 10 percent more respondents increasing hiring, and far fewer decreasing hiring (11.6 percent compared to 6.3 percent).

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

    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. The Job Outlook 2020 report is available free to members through MyNACE. Nonmembers can purchase the report through the NACE Store.

    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

    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