Career Advice Apr 03 2012

Job Prospects Brighten for College Seniors

By kelly eggers

College seniors looking for work post-graduation this spring will find a stronger job market than new graduates in 2011, according to a new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

NACE's annual survey of its member organizations showed companies plan to hire 10.2% more recent graduates than they did in 2011. That's up from the 9.2% increase employers anticipated when surveyed in September of last year.

"This is definitely good news because employers are out there hiring," said Andrea Koncz, a spokesperson for NACE. "It's still very competitive, and employers are still getting a lot of applications for these openings, but overall it's good news."

The increase in hiring is lower than last year, when employers hired 19.3% more than the previous year, but last year was an unusual hiring year, Koncz said. Companies were staffing back up after several years of layoffs due to the recession, she said.

Graduate hiring is stronger than during the depths of the recession. "The worst year was 2009," Koncz said. Employers cut hiring by 22% in 2009 and increased hiring by 5.3% in spring of 2010.

The survey, which polled 160 companies, said that, on average, they are posting 116 jobs for new graduates. That's a 10.5% climb from 105 in 2011. In 2010, employers posted an average of 45 jobs for new graduates, NACE said.

Write to Kelly Eggers at kelly.eggers@dowjones.com




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