Starting Salaries Up 3.8% for Class of 2016 Grads

The average salary for this year's bachelor's degree graduates is up 3.8 percent compared with the Class of 2015, according to preliminary pay findings in a new report. The results suggest a tightening labor market.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Fall 2016 Salary Survey report shows that the overall average salary for the Class of 2016 is $52,569, versus the average salary of $50,651 reported for the Class of 2015 last fall. That increase is well beyond the inflation rate—consumer prices in the U.S. were up 1.6 percent year-on-year in October 2016.

The findings based on early returns to NACE's Class of 2016 First-Destination Survey, and so the starting salaries reported here should be considered early indicators.

Driving the overall salary increase are the reported salaries for graduates who earned bachelor's degrees in the computer sciences—the highest-paid degree in the report—followed by engineering graduates.

Pay for math and statistics graduates, however, saw the highest year-over-year increase, rising almost 16 percent.

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