February 11, 2010, 2:54 PM — We wish we had better news to share on the IT salary front: The median pay increases organizations are planning for IT professionals this year are small--1.8 percent--according to the latest Computer Economics IT salary survey. That's .2 percent lower than the median salary increases the Irvine, Calif.-based IT research firm predicted tech workers would receive in 2009.
John Longwell, Computer Economics' vice president of research, says raises are smaller this year even though most employers expect 2010 to be better business-wise than 2009. Companies budget for employee salaries based on facts about the prior year. Since last year was so bad, employers remain tightfisted with IT salaries this year.
"When we surveyed companies this year, we asked what really happened last year with salaries, and those numbers did come in at two percent," says Longwell. "You'd think 2010 would be better [for IT salaries], but really there's a lag, and the raises tend to reflect what happened last year in a lot of ways as opposed to the year ahead."
Longwell adds that the paltry raises employers are planning for IT professionals reflects downward pressure on IT salaries. "With persistent unemployment, organizations will be able to hire new workers at rates lower than those who were laid off during the recession," Computer Economics noted in a press release.
The good news is that more than half the companies Computer Economics surveyed are giving raises this year and that some companies are giving more than 1.8 percent depending on the position, according to Longwell. He adds that the 1.8 percent figure is the median salary increase for all IT positions regardless of level and job function, and that the median tends to be a little lower than a pure average or mean.
As a point of comparison, Robert Half Technology's 2010 IT Salary Guide showed salary decreases across the vast majority of IT job functions.
The 1.8 percent bump is in line with the two percent increases IT departments are making to their operational budgets this year, according to a separate Computer Economics study. Last year, most IT budgets saw significant cuts.
IT Salary Increases by Job Function