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Hiring of college graduates this year is expected to reach levels not seen since the early 2000s, but the starting salaries of those positions are improving at a much slower pace, according to new reports authored by Phil Gardner, the director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. The number of internships -- and paid ones at that -- is also expected to increase. After several years of slow growth, hiring of recent college graduates will increase by 16 percent for the 2014-2015 school year, according to Gardner's report released earlier this month. According to a separate report, based on the same survey of 53,000 companies, 40 percent of employers say they will enlarge their intern pools this year, while only 4 percent say they will decrease the number of interns.
More than 70 percent of employers say they will pay their interns. Last year, that share was 67 percent. Starting salaries remain largely stagnant, Gardner said, with six in 10 employers saying they will not increase their starting pay and those who will offer salary increases will only do so by 3 to 5 percent. “Pressure on employers to increase starting salaries has been minimal since the market crash in 2008,” he said.