It’s commencement time, and for newly minted grads facing a long and potentially futile job search this summer, there’s at least one bit of good news. According to its recent Spring Salary survey, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that starting salaries are up 5.9 percent for 2011 college grads.
The news is not so good, however, for young women starting new jobs. In a separate study released last week, the same organization found that the average Class of 2010 female with a new bachelor’s degree received a $36,451 starting salary—17 percent less than the $44,159 her average male peer received. The difference can’t be explained away by major (the idea that males choose study areas that lead to higher-paying jobs)—even when salary was adjusted for this, men came out ahead in all but a few cases.