New college graduates can feel good about entering into the current job market.
Employers plan to hire four percent more graduates for U.S. jobs from the class of 2018 than they did from the class of 2017, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employees (NACE) Job Outlook 2018 survey.
The Job Market For New Grads
The job market for recent college graduates has been relatively strong for quite some time, according to this data. The four percent increase is actually lower than hiring projections from the past several years. There was a 5.8 percent increase for fall semester graduates last school year, and a 5.0 percent increase after the spring semester. Hiring gains were as high as 11 percent in 2016 and 13 percent in 2013. The fact that 4 percent of employers plan to hire more graduates than last year only compounds the positive trends.
Hiring Expectations Are Also Strong Overall
Further support for the positive trends can be seen when comparing hiring expectations in general from year to year. In the Job Outlook 2017 survey, 36 percent of employers said they planned to increase hiring in the year ahead. Half said they planned to maintain hiring numbers.
This year’s report found that the percentage of employers that intend to increase their number of new hires rose to 43.7 percent. The organizations that planned to maintain their number fell slightly to 46.7 percent. Fever than 10 percent of the employers surveyed said that they plan to cut their number of hires in the upcoming year.
Employers who do plan to increase hiring were asked what drove that decision. Company growth, current employees retiring and “the need for entry-level talent” were listed as primary motivators for their decisions.
Good news for job seekers: 36 percent of employers said they planned to increase hiring this year.
What New Grads Are Looking For
A separate survey from NACE, the Class of 2017 Student Survey Report, asked new college graduates what they were looking for in a new job. Several themes emerged.
Students said that the opportunity to develop job-specific skills (84 percent) and the opportunity to develop applied skills (82.6 percent) were most important. Students also wanted job security (82.2 percent), friendly coworkers (81.2 percent) and a strong benefits package (74.3 percent).
A robust job market should help recent grads hit these marks.
Tell Us What You Think
Are you graduating this year? We want to hear from you! Tell us what you’re looking for in your first job after graduation. Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.