Continued Mixed Signals in Job Market



By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

A significant number of employers are delaying start dates for new hires amidst the coronavirus outbreak. That’s the latest word from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).  At the same time, the association reports most starting employees will be working remotely, at least to begin.

NACE started a new survey of employers on June 1 and as of June 15, there were 135 respondents.  Almost twice as many employers now report they have revoked full-time job offers made to class of 2020 graduates (9%) than what NACE reported in its April poll. 

At this point, a full third of the employers have delayed start dates for their new hires, most in the range of one to three months.  Among the factors employers considered in determining whether to delay start dates were local government orders/regulations (62%), statewide orders/regulations (62%), and whether reliable safety procedures for opening back up have been established (60%).

The director of the UofL University Career Center, Bill Fletcher, offered a mixed interpretation of these NACE survey results.  “Although the number of revoked offers has increased, it is still relatively low, given the current circumstances.  It also shows that, unlike the last recession, most employers are more cautious about halting their recruitment and hiring, and are delaying start dates versus revoking offers altogether."

Fletcher further points to the number of job postings on the University Career Center’s career management system as evidence of a job market that is not decimated, at least at this point. “The volume of positions posted in Handshake remains steady, and is still above the total for the same period last year. This indicates employers are still hiring."

Almost two-thirds of employers in the NACE study will start their new full-time hires working remotely.  About 25% plan for the remote start to last one to three months, while nearly 60% have not yet determined how long virtual work will last.