updated 7/13/2010 2:52:31 PM ET 2010-07-13T18:52:31

Recent college graduates lucky enough to nab jobs are earning even less than their counterparts did a year ago, according to a recent survey.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers said in its quarterly report on salaries that 2010 graduates' average starting salary was $48,661, down 1.3 percent from the initial salaries of 2009 graduates.

People majoring in general studies saw some of the biggest drops in compensation, said Mimi Collins, communications director for NACE. The average offer for them tumbled 17.7 percent to $37,356.

A few industries bucked the trend, however, raising compensation for new hires. Offers for economics majors rose 2.1 percent to $50,885, while those studying finance got a 0.8 percent bump to $50,356.

In the technology field, salaries dropped slightly for computer science majors and those studying engineering. Information sciences grads' salaries increased 5.7 percent, however, to $55,084.

The biggest increase was in hospitality services management, where the average offer rose 10.6 percent to $44,397, said Collins.

NACE received information from the career services offices of 115 colleges nationwide in the nine months through June.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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