Increased Hiring Forecast for 2021 Grads



By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

A new research study projects an improved job picture for college graduates across the country.  The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveyed employers of all sizes and forecasts hiring will be up 7.2% for the Class of 2021 when compared to last year’s graduates. The projections are also up significantly from last fall’s forecast of a reduction in college hiring.  

Although not as strong as the job situation back in 2019 prior to the pandemic, NACE said the survey points toward a brighter outlook as a result of the re-opening of some shuttered businesses and increasing COVID-19 vaccinations. 

As the below table indicates, about 30% of companies responding to the survey plan to hire more new college graduates, almost double what was reported last fall.  And while nearly one-third of employers planned to decrease hiring last fall, that number has now dropped below 10%.

NACE JobOutlook

The director of UofL's University Career Center, Bill Fletcher, said the career management system they use indicates an even better hiring picture across the nation.  “In the four years we have used the Handshake platform, there has been a significant increase in job postings each year.   And with about a month left in the current reporting year, even in the midst of a pandemic, the number of positions available to UofL students is up 33% compared to the previous year.  That is encouraging.”