Prepare for a bleak IT jobs winter

Christmas will hold little cheer for IT managers looking to improve their earnings by changing jobs. Last quarter's advertised...

Christmas will hold little cheer for IT managers looking to improve their earnings by changing jobs. Last quarter's advertised salaries rose by just 1% annually, the lowest on record.

The SSP/Computer Weekly Survey of Appointments Data and Trends for July to September provides even more reason for IT professionals in work to sit tight, since there is little chance of improving their financial position by changing jobs.

To put the third quarter's 1% rise into context, the headline rate of inflation for September was 1.7%, while the underlying inflation rate, which excludes mortgage payments, was 2.1%.

A year ago salaries rose by 2.9%, while the flurry of IT activity surrounding Y2K drove an annual increase of 6.9% in 2000.

Of the 65 job titles covered in the SSP survey, 23 saw a year-on-year fall in advertised salaries, with terms offered to comms engineers down 9% (from £32,000 to £29,000).

However, demand for certain skills cocooned some IT professionals. Advertised salaries for senior systems developers with SAP skills were up 17%, compared to just 5% for other senior developers.

Analyst/programmers with SAP expertise could expect 38% more than was offered a year go. But salaries advertised for system consultants specialising in SAP fell by 9%, from £78,700 to £70,400 a year.

The total number of IT jobs advertised on the Internet and in the press was the lowest since records began.

The SSP survey analyses advertisements for computer professionals on the Web and in the trade press and the quality national daily newspapers and Sunday papers.

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