Survey: Employers Hiring More Grads in 2011

A study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that employers plan to hire 19.3 percent more graduates in 2011 than they did in 2010.

The class of 2011 may have better luck landing jobs than those who have graduated before them, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

According to NACE's Job Outlook 2011 Spring Update, employers plan to hire 19.3 percent more graduates in 2011 than they did in 2010.

The survey results exceeded NACE's projections from last fall, which showed a 13.5 percent jump in planned hiring. According to NACE, this is the first time since 2007 that employers have later upped their original projections.

Employers reported that the number of applications that they receive has risen nearly 45 percent since last year at this time, but the total number of open positions and job postings reported by respondents has nearly tripled from 5,174 in 2010 to 14,341 in 2011. As a result, the average number of applications received per position dropped from 40.5 in 2010 to just over 21 this year.

All but four industries-retail trade, government, information, and miscellaneous professional services-reported increases in hiring.

The survey found that the oil and gas extraction; chemical (pharmaceutical) manufacturing; computer and electronics manufacturing; and finance, insurance, and real estate industries expect to hire the most 2011 graduates.

Each of those four employer groups predict “healthy increases” in overall hiring, with more than half of the organizations in each sector planning increases, according to the survey.

In terms of region, the outlook is the best for graduates in the Northeast, where there's expected to be a 25.6 percent increase in new college graduate hires in 2011. The Midwest was not far behind with a 20.2 percent increase, followed by the West (19.3 percent increase) and Southeast (7.9 percent increase).

Many local colleges and recent grads can attest to the survey findings, according to the Star Tribune.

The Minneapolis newspaper said that the University of St. Thomas reported that 43 employers collectively conducted 850 job interviews on campus this year-representing a 21 percent increase from last year.

In addition, the Star Tribune cited a recent survey of eight Minnesota schools conducted by St. Cloud State University, which found that one in four 2011 college graduates reported receiving a job offer before graduation.

NACE's Job Outlook 2011 Spring Update survey was conducted between February 28 and April 8, 2011. NACE sent the survey to 873 employer members and 174, or 19.9 percent, responded.

Click here to read more in the Star Tribune about recent grads and their hiring experiences.