The National Association of Colleges and Employers says this year will be bleak for college grads.

“Undergraduate hiring is expected to plummet this spring according to the results from a recent survey, dashing some analysts’ hopes that a degree would help graduates weather the economic storm. The study, conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), estimates that employers will hire 22% fewer new graduates from this year’s class than they did from last year’s class. The projection, if true, would represent the biggest downturn since 2002, when the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the dot-com bust sent hiring down 36%.

This year’s dip, though, could prove to be even worse than that year. After the 2002 downturn, hiring leveled off in 2003 and rebounded by 2004—followed by double-digit increases until the spring of 2008. This time around, employers are largely unsure about when or if their hiring will recover. In all, 46% of the employers surveyed by NACE said they were uncertain if hiring would recover by the fall, and 17% said they were certain, but not in a good way: they were going to hire fewer college grads than they did last year.”