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September 21, 2009
Starting Salaries Fall for New Grads

The average starting salary offer for new graduates with bachelor's degrees declined 1.2 percent from 2008 to 2009, according to a new report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

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NACE found that for the graduates in the class of 2009, the average starting salary offer was $48,633, compared with an average of $49,224 for the class of 2008.

NACE says that while the percentage decline could seem small when considered in light of the changes that occurred in the economy, the actual change is significant.

“In fact, year-over-year salary increases are what have come to be considered ‘the norm,'" says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. "The small decrease actually reflects a much greater loss,”

For example, the class of 2008 saw its average starting salary increase 7.6 percent over the average offer to class of 2007 graduates.

The demand for new graduates dropped, which is reflected in the decline in salary.

“There are 20 percent fewer offers reported in the September 2009 Salary Survey than were reported in the September 2008 report--despite the fact that nearly the same number of schools reported offers for both reports,” says Mackes.

NACE found that business administration/management graduates saw their average offer fall 3.4 percent to $44,607. By contrast, engineering graduates saw their average offer rise from $57,250 to $59,670, or 4.2 percent.

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