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College grad hiring to rise by 9%, expansion continues for ninth year: Michigan State University

October 26, 2018

The college labor market improved for the ninth consecutive year as another strong year for new graduates seeking jobs is projected, according to Michigan State University’s Recruiting Trends annual survey of employers in the US.

Employers surveyed expressed the highest level of optimism in the labor market since the late 1990s. In total, they plan to hire nearly 63,500 new graduates this academic year.

The last few years, college grad hiring has been up 15% to 20% consecutively, creating more jobs than candidates available. In 2018-19, hiring is expected to increase by a manageable 9%.

The research found hiring growth is strongest in the construction; professional, business and scientific services; real estate and leasing; transportation; retail trade; educational services; and health services. Skilled trades are the hardest to fill. Companies in nursing, engineering and construction find it most difficult to hire employees.  

When examined by degree level, hiring expansion is 8.5% at the bachelor’s level, 17% for the associate’s level and 13% for MBAs.

The survey included 3,300 employers, with 2,560 providing enough information to be included in the analyses. Seventy-three percent are recruiters seeking full-time talent or hiring managers overseeing talent acquisition within their organizations. Other contributors include internship and co-op managers (11%), recruiters seeking experienced talent (10%), and those filling short-term assignments of six months or less (7%).


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