2010 Brought Modest Raises, Bonuses

Susan Hall

I wrote a couple of weeks ago that raises reportedly will be making a comeback in 2011 and it's high time. Companies' tight grip on the pocketbook during the recession is but one of the factors leaving many workers grumbling.


A new survey by Dice.com, reported here by Reuters, found that about half of IT workers got raises in 2010, up from a third in 2009. But those raises were tiny unless you worked for a major corporation or in Silicon Valley. It said IT workers' paychecks grew by less than $1,000 to an average salary of $79,384. In Silicon Valley, however, that number was $99,028 and $89,149 for the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area.


It also reported that companies with 5,000 or more people pay IT workers almost $20,000 more per year, on average, than companies with fewer than 50 workers.


With workers finding they have other job options, some companies have turned to bonuses. Last year, 29 percent of the survey respondents paid bonuses, up from 24 percent in 2009. My interviews with hiring agencies and employees have found that companies are having to pay more to attract talent and that Wall Street firms, especially, have to shell out for bonuses to keep key employees.


Though IT hiring by most accounts is expected to pick up this year, this BusinessWeek story points out the vicious cycle: Businesses are reluctant to hire until the economy improves, but the economy won't improve until hiring picks up.

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