Job Outlook Spring Update: Overall Hiring Dips, But Most Employers Will Maintain or Increase Hiring

April 8, 2024 | By Mimi Collins and Kevin Gray

Hiring Outlook
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Nearly 83% of employers responding to NACE’s Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update survey anticipate increasing (24.9%) or maintaining (57.7%) hiring for the Class of 2024. This leaves just 17.4% of respondents planning to decrease hires, but their planned cuts mean overall hiring projections are down 5.8% from last year. (See Figure 1.)

NACE Dashboard: Access And Analyze the Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update Survey Data
NACE members have access to the full set of data from the survey through the report’s dashboard in MyNACE. This is an invaluable way for your team to gain insight into trends and issues, and enhance your ability to develop solutions and advocate for and market your department. For directions and tips on how to use a NACE research report dashboard, please see this YouTube video.

Note that the dip follows historic hiring that followed the pandemic, suggesting that the cutbacks reflect a return to “normal” hiring plans. Moreover, the data indicate that decreases are largely tied to particular respondents, especially by industry.

For example, chemical (pharmaceutical) manufacturers, which planned a hiring increase of slightly more than 30% last year, expect to decrease their hiring by almost 13% for the Class of 2024. The same is true for computer and electronics manufacturers as their planned increase for last year’s class (19.1%) has dropped to a decrease of almost 12% this year. In the business sector, finance, insurance, and real estate organizations are planning a 14.5% decrease in hiring this year as opposed to their 16.7% increase last year.

On the other hand, there are industries with positive projections this year that had planned decreases last year, including miscellaneous manufacturing (20.3% this year compared to -4.6% last year), utilities (0.3% compared to -39.0%), and miscellaneous professional services (5.8% compared to -16.6%). (See Figure 2.)

The Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update survey was conducted from February 6 – March 15, 2024. Of the 226 total respondents, 185 were NACE employer members, representing 21.0% of eligible member respondents. The Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update survey was also distributed to nonmember companies; this group provided an additional 41 responses. The survey updates hiring projections for the Class of 2024; those projections were collected from NACE employer members from August 2 – September 18, 2023, and were reported in Job Outlook 2024, which was published in November 2023. NACE members can access the Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update survey dashboard on NACEWeb.

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Job Outlook Spring Update 2024: Change in hiring, by industry

nace logo Mimi Collins is Director of Communications at the National Association of Colleges and Employers. She can be reached at

blank default headshot of a user Kevin Gray is an associate editor at NACE. He can be reached at