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Report: Hiring Situation for New College Graduates Looks Bleak

VStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The economy might be improving, but few employers are hiring more new college graduates.

In fact, the hiring situation for new graduates looks about the same as last year, which is to say not very good, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Broadly, projections for hiring plummeted in 2009 but have ticked upward since then.  Yet, there is only supposed to be a 2.1 percent increase in hiring graduates from the class of 2013.  That's the smallest increase in five years.

It's nowhere near last year's survey estimate that indicated a 13 percent increase in the hiring of recent graduates.

One reason is that employers are simply reluctant to bring on new people because they are not confident that the economy will continue to do well.  

Many of the businesses that survived the recession were able to continue working with a pared down workforce.  They may be reluctant to add the extra costs of more employees when they've been able to get by with less.

A separate report from NACE paints a slightly more positive picture for those graduates who are actually hired.  The average starting salary for new college graduates with bachelor's degrees has increased 5.3 percent in the last year, according to the group.  The average starting salary is now about $45,000.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio