College seniors may have more trouble landing a job next spring than recent graduates, as employers trim their hiring outlooks in response to the slowing economy and financial-sector turmoil.
Employers plan to hire just 1.3% more graduates in 2009 than they hired this year, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
That’s the weakest outlook in six years and reflects a sharp recent downturn. Just two months ago, a survey by the same group projected a 6.1% increase in hiring. The August survey included 219 employers, 146 of whom responded to the new survey, conducted earlier this month. The big drop in hiring projections is “extremely unusual,” says Edwin Koc, the association’s director of strategic research.
The results continue a pattern of diminishing job prospects for college graduates. A year ago, employers told the association they would increase hiring for the class of 2008 by 16%. By this spring, though, the projected increase had fallen to 8%. The association doesn’t report how actual hiring compares with its projections.