An extensive survey of IT jobs by management consultants Janco Associates will offer little consolation for IT professionals across the board.
Overall salary and benefit levels are down across the industry, while competition for jobs is fierce thanks to layoffs by large companies and pressure from outsourcing.
Average salaries for chief information officers fell by more than six per cent last year, with staff in medium sized firms seeing a fall of nearly five per cent. The only benefits that rose were the provision of stock options, up five per cent, and an increase in company car allowances.
"The job market for IT professionals is one of the worst I have seen since the late 1970s," said Victor Janulaitis, chief executive at Janco Associates, in a statement.
"There is a surplus of IT talent and companies are in a cost-cutting mode. The dotcom bubble was a cake walk compared to this job market."
Benefits have been severely cut back in the past year, and nearly one in five IT staff are now without health insurance. Over a third are no longer getting a 401k retirement contribution, and fewer than half are allowed to work flexibly.
The findings, taken from questionnaires and US Securities and Exchange Commission filings, found that the jobs market is facing increasing pressure. Outsourcing and layoffs are being used to cull staff from payrolls, and many companies have instituted near total hiring freezes.
Meanwhile, large numbers of staff are putting off retirement due to stock market falls, and those jobs that are available are oversubscribed with potential interviewees.
The survey identified the positions most at risk as IT planning roles, technical services managers, operating systems production managers, planning analysts and data entry staff.
However, there is still demand for CIOs with a proven track record, as well as network control staff, systems analysts and database specialists.
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