Work

Good news for grads: Employers plan to hire 16.6% more workers from the class of 2019 than they did last year

Graduating students cheer at New York University's commencement ceremony at Yankee Stadium.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Graduating students cheer at New York University's commencement ceremony at Yankee Stadium.

If you are a member of the Class of 2019, congratulations! You might have hit the labor market jackpot. Experts estimate that this year will one of the best years for new grads, from a hiring perspective, in recent memory.

Recent figures from National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) indicate that employers plan to hire 16.6 percent more members of the Class of 2019 than the previous year's graduating class. That's the biggest increase among recent graduates since 2007.

"If you're graduating from college now, you've timed it perfectly," Brian Kropp, vice president at research firm Gartner tells CNBC Make It. "It's hard to think of a better labor market that you could go into."

Historically low unemployment rates are forcing companies to hire more recent graduates. The unemployment rate for all U.S. workers is roughly 3.9 percent, but the unemployment for college educated workers is just 2.1 percent.

"With almost 7 million open jobs in the U.S. right now and not enough workers to fill them, employers are increasingly turning to less-experienced hires like new grads as a way to fill open roles," Daniel Zhao, economist at Glassdoor tells CNBC Make It. "Additionally, as a growing number of older workers retire, there will be more opportunities for younger workers to rise in their careers and open up space for new grads to find entry-level work."

This low unemployment rate among college educated workers gives recent graduates considerable leverage when interviewing for jobs and negotiating for starting salary.

"The reality is, most companies will not hit goals in terms of the number of campus hires they want to hire this year," explains Kropp. "What that means is as a campus hire, you have the ability to shop offers more than ever before."

He continues, "A lot of companies will come in and say 'This is the standard offer for new campus hires, associates, analysts,' whatever it may be. But given how competitive the market is, they actually have a lot more flexibility in terms of signing bonus, in terms of bonus potential and so on."

For employers, this trend means they need to invest in recruiting and retention initiatives in order to convert these entry-level workers into long-term employees.

If you aren't a recent graduate, don't worry. Now is a great time for all workers interested in finding new opportunities. Americans quit their jobs last year at the highest rate since 2001 — and probably will this year, too.

"For any type of employment search, you won't find a better time than right now," Thomas Moran, CEO of staffing agency Addison Group tells CNBC Make It.

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