Compared with the estimated college-graduate hiring rate of 2002-'03, NACE's study found that a 12.7 percent increase is probable for this year's graduating class.
With the fluctuating economy currently riding relatively low, the study provided for traces of a positive change. It is not certain such an increase will occur, but the study is one of the first signs of optimism for the upcoming graduates.
The reasons for the increase are somewhat difficult to discern since they are mostly theoretical. According to Mimi Collins of the NACE Press Room, the improvement derives from various abstract reasons.
"Things are getting better," Collins said. "It's the economy — things have improved somewhat."
Collins said the companies that responded to the study also cited company growth as a reason behind the prospective increase.
Regionally, NACE found the greatest hiring increase should occur in the Northeast region of the United States, with a predicted 15.3 percent gain.
The Midwest fell in the middle of the range with a 13.5 percent increase, which is still slightly above the national average.
The effects of the recent climb in hiring have been foreshadowed by campus events at Marquette.
Laura Kestner, assistant director of career services, has given evidence to hint the increase may become a reality.
Though Kestner could not comment on future events such as the accuracy of the survey for the year to come, she noticed some positive changes in career-related activities on campus.
"The number of employers at the career fair rose slightly," Kestner said. She also said the numbers for the February career event are expected to increase as well.
Along with the greater number of employers who turned out, there was also a greater variety. Employers who had not attended last year because they had no jobs to offer and entirely new companies were present this fall.
Kestner agreed the cause behind the potential upcoming growth — the economy.
"The overall feeling among employers seems to be more positive," Kestner said.
With the economy picking up, stores have more positions to offer to recent graduates. The retail industry in particular has been experiencing a revival after the post-9/11 shopping downfall.
For example, Kestner said Kohl's Inc. department stores will be opening more of their chain stores this year than in the past few years.
The winter holiday season could be the beginning of promising developments.
"We are hiring now for the holiday season," said Shana Zacek, manager at Kohl's in Southridge Mall in Greendale. Zacek said they would be hiring a number of people.