However, the vast majority of IT professionals are still being forced to compromise on pay to avoid pricing themselves out of work, the survey by recruitment consultancy Hays IT revealed.
The study found a modest increase in demand for project managers, which is being seen as an indication that organisations are revisiting initiatives that were put on hold at the start of the economic downturn.
IT professionals with Oracle 11i, JD Edwards, CCIE and SQL Server skills are in scarce supply, and employers are prepared to pay premiums for individuals with the necessary skills to enable them to complete outstanding projects, the survey found. Permanent network staff are experiencing average pay rises of 3%.
The situation for the rest of the IT profession remains less promising, however, with permanent salaries showing an average 4% drop and contractors experiencing average pay cuts of 8%.
Interim IT managers have been particularly badly hit, with rates falling by an average of 17%, and analyst programmer contractors have taken a 12% cut.
"To secure long-term work, it is essential to consider lower hourly rates. Many companies are well aware there is a surplus of available workers on the market - supply and demand dictate rates," said Les Duncan, managing director of Hays IT. "However, many contractors are still pricing themselves out the market.
"Headcount freezes may still be in place and many financial services companies are not investing in IT."
Duncan said a number of job candidates are now actively seeking public sector roles as these are perceived as safer positions. The survey revealed that salaries for IT workers in the public sector have not fallen as they have in the private sector.
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