Signs that the economy is rebounding got yet another vote of confidence when a prominent tech staffing firm announced that pay for temp workers with up-to-date IT skills took a giant step forward recently.
The Q3 Yoh Index of Technology Wages highlight this surprisingly bright note: Wages paid by American corporations to highly skilled temporary workers increased a remarkably strong 6.85% in Sept. 2011, compared to the same month in 2010, resulting in the biggest year-over-year increase since Sept. 2009.
The fact that wages for skilled temporary workers are increasing suggests an increased demand for the level of expertise needed in early stage economic recovery.
Since 2001, the Yoh Index of Technology Wages has been benchmarking the relative wage rate fluctuations of highly skilled temporary workers in technology, engineering, life sciences and healthcare. Temporary employment is closely tracked as a leading indicator of future economic activity. By focusing on highly skilled workers, the Yoh Index tracks demand for technically proficient workers, those who can command higher wages and set the ceiling for the job market as a whole.
“Two trends that jump from the numbers and provide optimism are the rate of increase in September, as well as the acceleration of the rate of increase over July, August, and September of 2011 versus the same months in 2010,” says Lori Schultz, President of Yoh.
The September year-over-year wage increase is nearly 50% better than August’s and almost three and a half times better than July’s year-over-year rate increase.
“This velocity suggests that skilled temporary professionals are finally beginning to gain much-needed leverage in the marketplace, and are using that leverage to seek higher wages. This trend can only occur when job seekers believe that job demand is increasing and that there is less risk in rejecting a lower paying position today in anticipation that wages might be greater tomorrow.”
Such optimism is being fueled by fundamental changes in key industries. For instance, in technology, the emergence of cloud computing is leading companies to invest heavily in rebuilding their application infrastructures to take advantage of required technologies such as HTML5 and virtualization.
While cloud computing might, in time, impact employment at the lower end of IT departments as their services are outsourced to cloud service providers, the need to re-engineer and migrate systems has opened huge opportunities for skilled IT professionals, developers and computer scientists.
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