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I think part of the problem is that a lot of IT positions are being merged, so that companies try to get one hire that can perform what just a couple of years ago was the work of two individual employees. Look at productivity numbers. Sure it sounds great that "worker productivity increased x%", but what that really means is that Joe Employee just had to perform x% more work, most likely for the same amount of compensation. For example, a systems analyst may also be required to perform the work of a business analyst. There aren't a lot of folks, no matter how bright they are, that have both skill sets. So does that mean that there are a lack of qualified candidates, or that the target is moving?