Employers have painted a rosier job outlook for college grads this year, but college seniors still on the hunt may find slim pickings.
Early projections have been optimistic. Employers will hire 9.6 percent more college graduates this year than last year, according to a forthcoming April report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). In its November outlook, the association had projected an increase of 8.3 percent in hiring for the Class of 2015.
Michigan State University's College Employment Research Institute found almost all companies, or 97 percent, plan to hire at least one new college grad this year, up from 84 percent who said so last year. Overall, hiring for candidates with bachelor's degrees is expected to rise 16 percent this year, according to its October survey of 2,200 recruiters and hiring managers.
"Most of the industries were positive, pretty much across the board," said Andrea Koncz, a research manager at NACE. The only field with a weak hiring outlook, she said, was the oil and gas industry. In Michigan State University's analysis, only educational services (2 percent decrease) and health services (8 percent increase) were projected to experience less than double-digit growth.