Improving Job Market

An annual survey of U.S. employers estimates hiring of college graduates will increase an average of 15% during 2015-16.

There’s good news for college graduates looking for a job:  Companies are hiring.

An annual survey of U.S. employers done by Michigan State University (MSU) estimates hiring will increase an average of 15% in 2015-16 for graduates with associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees.

The lead author of the survey, MSU economist Phil Gardner, credited the improved job market to company growth and employee turnover, much of it caused by people retiring. Even amid uncertain economic times, employers continue to turn to new graduates to fill vacancies and add positions.

Of the employers surveyed, more than half (56%) said turnover was a major reason why they are hiring, up 11% over last year. Nearly one-third (31%) said staff retirements are playing a role in their hiring decisions, up significantly from last year. About 10,000 Baby Boomers retire daily.

Now in its 45th year, the Recruiting Trends report surveys more than 4,700 employers nationwide in major industries. It shows that hiring for professional, business and scientific services jobs – accounting, information technology and environmental consulting, for example – will jump more than any other sector (38%). Hiring of finance and insurance jobs will increase 28%, and healthcare, social service, government and education jobs also will be in high demand.

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Of the industries surveyed, just manufacturing showed a projected drop in hiring, mostly due to the global economic slowdown. However, some areas of manufacturing are expected to create new jobs, including those related to trucks and automobiles, computer and electronic products and surgical equipment. Even construction jobs, which vanished during the recession, are coming back.

Among recent grads seeking work, those with an associate’s or professional degree might find the most opportunities. Hiring of graduates with those degrees should jump about 23%, compared with 15% for those with bachelor’s degrees and 11% for with master’s degrees, the report found.

Still, job seekers who hold a college degree of any level can expect to find employers ready and eager to hire new talent for the growing number of positions available at their companies.


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