Despite troubled times for the U.S. economy, tech professionals post higher salaries than ever

There were plenty of tech professional layoffs in 2007.  AOL cut 2,000 employees and Motorola announced 4,000 more layoffs.  To top it off tech retailer CompUSA virtually went under and Circuit city struggled, posting more job cuts.  In January the news broke of Yahoo would lay off 1,000 more employees; Sprint, also struggling, planned to cut 4,000 workers

With all these troubles, it certainly seems like the U.S. tech professional industry must be in dire times to match the general sentiment on the current U.S. economy -- a downward trend towards uncertainty.

However, the reality of the tech professional market couldn't be far from that.  Despite the gloom and doom news, tech professionals made record salaries in 2007.  Tech salaries hit an all-time high, with an hourly average wage of $32.39 in October 2007.  This dipped and fluctuated a bit in November and December, but remained very high. 

The estimate was compiled by IT staffing firm Yoh, who has done estimates for many years.  According to Yoh, the average tech salary in 2007 increased to $31.62, up from $30.17 in 2006. 

For the fourth quarter the average wage in 2007 was up to $31.92, from $30.17 average in Q4 '06.  Despite this increased, Yoh acknowledged that Q4 '07 had some ups and downs and saw a general slowing of growth.  Jim Lanzalotto, VP of marketing and strategy for Yoh states, "There was still growth in Q4, but not as robust."

Still Lanzalotto is "cautiously optimistic" that "solid mid-single digit growth" will continue in the coming year for tech wages.  He says key factors to the growth in 2007 and continued growth in 2008 are strong pockets of demand for SAP talent, project managers, and data warehousing skills.

Meanwhile we can take news stories like Dell's 900 employee layoff with a grain of optimism, knowing that in general at least, the market is at an all time high. 

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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