Starting salaries have been on the rise in recent years for newly graduated Ph.D.'s in mathematics, according to a survey conducted by the American Mathematical Society (AMS).

Indeed, the society found that the median starting pay for government jobs rose 20 percent in the five years between 1984 and 1989, while starting salaries increased 35 percent for nine-month teaching stints that also included research work. Industry boosted starting pay an additional 23 percent during the same period.

Society officials say the rise reflected overall greater demand, particularly as new Ph.D.'s helped supplement computer science faculty. Moreover, some universities were playing a game of catch-up, adjusting pay to reflect cost-of-living increases.

However, the increase in pay for 1989 over that for 1988 was smaller than the five-year increase--and, in some categories, median starting salaries even declined slightly--as the job market showed signs of tightening. This finding reflects what some society officials...

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