Report: Job Outlook Down for Class of 2024 College Graduates

Employers may be less eager to hire class of 2024 college graduates than in the two years prior.
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Matthew Arrojas is a news reporter at BestColleges covering higher education issues and policy. He previously worked as the hospitality and tourism news reporter at the South Florida Business Journal. He also covered higher education policy issues as...
Published on December 15, 2023
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  • A survey of employers found a dip in the number of companies that expect to increase hiring in 2024.
  • That's down from sizable increases for the graduates in 2022 and 2023.
  • Still, three-quarters of employers say the overall job market is favorable for class of 2024 graduates.

Class of 2024 college graduates may have a slightly harder time landing a job out of school than previous graduating classes.

A new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that employers expect a 1.9% dip in hiring compared to last year. This dip comes after significant increases in projected hiring for the class of 2022 (26.6%) and class of 2023 (14.7%).

So, while hiring may be down from last year, NACE still anticipates a strong job market for recent grads compared to the class of 2021.

"To be sure, if the projections hold, members of the Class of 2024 are still entering a strong job market, although they may need to be flexible to attain the position they want," Shawn VanDerziel, NACE's president and CEO, said in a statement.

NACE added that three-quarters of employers surveyed said they rate the job market for class of 2024 graduates as "good" or "excellent."

NACE's Job Outlook 2024 report also shows that many employers plan to increase entry-level salaries for class of 2024 graduates.

According to NACE, 43.3% of employers plan to increase salaries for new employees with a bachelor's degree. Meanwhile, 27.7% plan to increase wages for those graduating with a master's degree.

Only 0.5% plan to decrease salaries for each category of graduates, while the remaining employers will keep starting salaries the same as last year.

"These findings indicate that employers recognize the Class of 2024 as a strong source of talent to bring into their workforce and signal that there will be competition to hire graduates from this current class," VanDerziel said.

NACE surveyed 255 companies for its Job Outlook 2024 report.