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A Bleak Landscape

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Posted 2009-02-19 Print this article Print

A tough economy hurts pay premiums, but bright spots remain.

Foote says it’s no surprise that overall skills pay premiums for both non-certified and certified skills categories took a dip this year, particularly in the three- to six-month snapshots offered in the report.

“Across all companies we’re seeing wacky things happening and you know there is more to come,” he says.

Layoffs effect even those who keep their jobs. Every IT worker’s layoff diminishes the individual because they’re all involved in the same broad technology market. The long and short of it is that the market is flooding with plenty of talent right now as layoff notices from tech firms such as Microsoft, Cisco and Novell come fast and furious, not to mention large-scale enterprise layoffs that are sure to cut deep into operational departments such as IT. The most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports found that more than half-a-million Americans lost their jobs last month, pushing unemployment rates up to 7.6 percent.

Some of the specializations particularly bloodied in the last six months include operating systems skills, web and e-commerce skills and application development skills. Applications developers should especially temper their expectations for princely perks and salaries, Foote says. He believes that developers are among those groups most likely to get cut first within enterprises and big technology firms.
“Applications development is down because there's a lot of talent out there right now without jobs,” he explains. “You can get people cheap.”

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