Employers Project 14.7% Increase in Hiring for Class of 2023 College Graduates

October 24, 2022 | By Mimi Collins & Kevin Gray

A group of recruiters discuss the latest NACE research.

TAGS: hiring outlook, nace insights, surveys, trends and predictions,

Employers plan to hire 14.7% more new college graduates from the Class of 2023 than they did from the Class of 2022, according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2023 report. (See Figure 1.)

Overall, the report shows that half of responding employers plan to increase hiring, while less than 6% expect to cut back.

In addition, nearly half of the employers who took part in the Job Outlook 2023 survey rated the job market for Class of 2023 college graduates as very good to excellent.

There are a variety of factors fueling this, including the low unemployment rate, which was just 3.5% in September and has hovered around there most of the year.

The survey also found that while 20% of responding organizations are planning for a recession, only 6% expect to cut back on hiring new college graduates. Those that are cutting back cited three factors behind their decision: inflation, over-hiring last year, and uncertainty about attrition.

Although the current hiring projections are positive, they are off significantly from the projections employers made for the Class of 2022. Pent up demand, among other factors, triggered the sharp increase as we came out of the pandemic, to the benefit of Class of 2022 graduates. The current projected increase is more in line with what we saw before the pandemic.

Responding employers expect to recruit more heavily in the fall for both full-time hires and interns. Employers indicated that they plan to concentrate about two-thirds of their recruiting for full-time hires and about 70% of their intern recruiting in the fall.

Data for the Job Outlook 2023 survey were collected from August 3, 2022, through September 16, 2022. Of the 246 total respondents, 150 were NACE employer members, representing 17.4% of eligible member respondents. The Job Outlook 2023 survey was also distributed to nonmember companies, from which an additional 96 responses were received. NACE will update the hiring projections in spring 2023. The Job Outlook 2023 report is available to NACE members in MyNACE.