Culture

Study: IT workers see raises ahead

Technology professionals expect that 2004 will bring an end to two straight years of weak salary increases, according to a new survey.

Technology professionals expect that 2004 will bring an end to two straight years of weak salary increases, according to a new report.

Sixty-two percent of information technology workers surveyed expect raises of between 1 percent and 5 percent next year, according to a report published Thursday by Brainbench, which provides skills measurement online.

Almost half of the respondents--42 percent--said that they had received a salary increase of between 1 percent and 5 percent this year. Another 43 percent said they had not been given a raise in 2003. However, just 11 percent of the IT professionals surveyed do not expect to receive more money in 2004, according to the report.

"The latest IT Salary Survey showed that information technology workers of virtually every industry are gearing up for the economic recovery," Brainbench CEO Mike Russiello said in a statement. "They used the lull to beef up their credentials, and are now ready to make the most of the emerging opportunities."

Brainbench said its 2003 IT Salary Survey Report lays out responses from 2,151 U.S. professionals, randomly selected from the company's database of more than 4.9 million members.

IT professionals have weathered tough times in recent years. A recent Commerce Department report stated that there were 5.9 million workers in IT occupations last year, 8 percent less than in 2000. In 2002, the average annual wage for workers in IT industries was $67,440, down 1.3 percent from the year before, according to the agency report. In contrast, the average annual wage for all private workers in the same period increased 1 percent to $36,520.

Tech labor woes in the United States have been blamed on a variety of factors, including the transfer of IT work to lower-wage countries such as India.

The Brainbench report also found that women continue to earn less than men in the technology sector. In general, the earning disparities that were evident in 2002 have been carried forward, the company said.