College Grads Find Fewer Jobs And Now, For Less Pay

The bad news in Michigan State University's recent annual nationwide survey of prospective employers is that they plan to cut their hiring of new college graduates again this year--for the fourth year in a row. The hint of good news is that the projected 2.1% drop in hiring this school year is far below the average 10% decline of the previous three years.

"Employers say the job market could improve by the end of 1993," says L. Patrick Scheetz of Michigan State's College Employment Research Institute.

Such words are cold comfort to this spring's graduating class, which faces poorer job prospects and, for the first time in recent memory, starting salaries that will be down in real terms. The Michigan State survey indicates that average starting salaries for new bachelor's-degree holders will be up only 1% to 2% over last year--below the projected 3% rate of inflation. By contrast, starting salaries were up an average 5% or so in recent years.

Majors garnering the highest starting salaries at the baccalaureate level include engineering (particularly chemical engineering), computer science, nursing, and physics. At graduate levels, MBA starting salaries this year average $39,143--more than the average for other master's degrees, and even PhDs.

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