Rise in white-collar pay eases

Average salaries for white-collar workers increased less this past year than during the previous two years, the Labor Department reported. Raises ranged from 4.2 to 9.7 percent in the year that ended in March. This compares with 7.2 to 13.8 percent in 1982 and 7.6 percent to 12.1 percent in 1981.

Of the 24 occupations surveyed, only two showed greater increases in the latest data compared with a year ago. Public accountants' salaries increased 7.1 percent from the past year, compared with 6.6 percent the previous year. Messengers' pay was up 9.2 percent, compared with 6.4 percent the previous year.

Average salaries for eight levels of engineers ranged from $2,130 a month for college graduates in trainee positions to $5,578 for those responsible for highly complex engineering programs.

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