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First job salaries for college grads up 5.2 percent from 2017

College graduates entering the job market for the first time are in for some good news.

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According to the latest numbers from payroll processor ADP, which tracks about 20 percent of the labor force, average pay for new entrants ages 24 and younger increased by 5.2 percent in March compared to their counterparts in 2017 (2.5 percent).

Those entering particular high-skill fields, such as information, construction and manufacturing are seeing the largest wage increases.

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According to ADP, starting wages ranged between $9.41 (leisure and hospitality) to $16.79 in information, which includes computer workers.

On average, new entrants are earning an average $11.96 per hour. Tech hubs in Silicon Valley, Seattle and Denver had the highest pay increases (7.4 percent).

Pay is also up for workers holding the same job for more than one year or for those who had recently switched jobs.

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“This is the time to jump into the workforce,” Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president of the ADP Research Institute, told USA Today.

Yildirmaz said a historically low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent may be behind the larger overall salary increases, as well as knowledge of cutting-edge skills and subjects like digital technology.

Read more at USA Today and ADP.

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