BETHLEHEM, PA—College recruiting activity will likely continue to decline over the next three months, according to results of a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
NACE recently instituted a monthly poll of its employer members to gauge the college job market on an ongoing basis. The first poll was conducted October 3 - November 2 and represents expectations over a three-month period—October through December.
Results are reported as an index for recruiting activity and an index for college hiring, with scores ranging from 0 to 200 (100 represents no change; scores below 100 represent an expected decrease; scores above 100 represent an expected increase).
The overall recruiting activity index for October is 92.6, indicating that college recruiting activity will continue to decline over the next three months. The college hiring index for October is 86.8, indicating that hiring levels will also continue to decrease in the short term. (See Figure 1.)
The index appears negative on the surface, but a deeper look suggests some positive movement.
“In our current poll, 25.8 percent of the respondents reported some increase in the level of college hiring. This compares with only 17 percent that expected to increase hiring in August,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.
In addition, October unemployment figures for bachelor’s degree graduates are promising: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for college graduates holding bachelor’s degrees stands now at 4.7 percent—down from 4.9 percent in September. (The overall unemployment rate—10.2 percent—is up, reflecting steep unemployment rates for those with less than a bachelor’s degree.)