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4/24/2006
10:51 AM
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Job Market Booming For Skilled IT Professionals

The tight labor supply and the increase in the economy are helping to propel IT wages, according to the Yoh Index.

The good times for highly skilled IT professionals continue to roll, as the Yoh Index of Technology Wages reported Monday that wages continue to rise faster than non-farm hourly wages nationwide. Compared with the same quarter in the previous year, IT wages rose 4.62 percent.

"There's been an unabated growth in the last three quarters," said Jim Lanzalotto, Yoh's vice president of strategy and marketing, in an interview "And I don't see anything that can slow it down."

Yoh noted that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that there were 211,000 job additions to non-farm payrolls in March and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent representing a four and one-half year low. The tight labor supply and the increase in the economy are also working to propel IT wages.

Topping pay in IT job titles is the ERP Functional Consultant, which Yoh found is paying a whopping $81.58 an hour. Jobs in this category include expertise in SAP, SAS, Oracle, and PeopleSoft.

"Companies are being realistic now," said Lanzalotto. "They know they have to lock up great talent. It's very difficult to find the right people at the right price." While IT pay is surging now, it still isn't reaching the nosebleed pay levels of the late 1990s when companies were desperate to hire anyone with Web design experience.

Lanazlotto observed that IT pay has been increasing gradually over the past few quarters.

Yoh is also finding that employers are increasingly particular in their hiring demands, asking, for instance, to hire analysts with specific expertise in specific industries. "They say, 'Get me a CRM (customer relations management) expert with a background in Siebel and the pharmaceutical industry,'" he said.

Other IT positions commanding top hourly dollar are: hardware engineer, $69.01; project manager, $61.46; java developer, $59.06; embedded engineer, $55.72; and database administrator, $55.42.

Lanzalotto indicated the boom in IT salaries will have a ripple effect and influence other segments of the economy positively. "With the demand for technology talent growing," he said, "the industry will become an even more significant driver of progress in the overall employment market, presenting new opportunities for experienced professionals as well as workers in struggling industries looking to re-enter the labor force along a more promising path."

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