Employers' Hiring Projections for Class of 2023 Up 3.9%, but Down From Fall

April 17, 2023 | By Kevin Gray

A young woman on a job interview.

TAGS: hiring outlook, nace insights, surveys, trends and predictions,

Projections in the Job Outlook 2023 Spring Update show that employers are planning to hire 3.9% more graduates from the Class of 2023 than they did from the Class of 2022.

The projection is positive, but is down from earlier projections: In the fall, employers projected a 14.7% increase.

Among respondents to the current survey 36% plan to increase hires, 52.2% plan to maintain hires, and 12.3% plan to decrease college hires. These, too, have shifted from fall 2022 projections, when more than half planned to increase hires and less than 6% planned to decrease college hires.

These trends can be explained, in large part, by examining the movement within certain industries. Some industries that planned large increases in the past are cutting back on their college hires. This is especially true for technology companies, which are laying off employees after hiring in large numbers during the pandemic.

Respondents in the information industry planned to hire almost 87% more new graduates at this time last year. Currently, they are projecting a decrease in hiring of almost 17%. Also, computer and electronics manufacturers were planning to increase hires by slightly more than 41% last year; that projection now stands at 19.1% for the Class of 2023.

Another substantial swing is evident among utilities companies. Their hiring projection for spring 2022 was an increase of 11.5%; this year, utilities companies anticipate decreasing hiring by 39%—the largest reported decrease among survey respondents.

On the positive side, hiring in the transportation industry is expected to be more than 50% higher than last year, while hiring in chemical/pharmaceutical manufacturing is expected to be up 30%.

The Job Outlook 2023 Spring Update survey was conducted from February 6 – March 13, 2023. Of the 216 total respondents, 171 were NACE employer members, representing 19.2% of eligible member respondents. The Job Outlook 2023 Spring Update survey was also distributed to nonmember companies; this group provided an additional 45 responses. The survey updates hiring projections for the Class of 2023; those projections were collected from NACE employer members from August 3 – September 16, 2022, and were reported in Job Outlook 2023, which was published in October 2022. The Job Outlook 2023 report is available to NACE members in MyNACE.

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