BrainBench: US IT salaries will grow 1-5% in 2004

62% of information technology workers surveyed expect raises of between 1% and 5% next year, according to a report published Thursday by Brainbench, which provides skills measurement online. Almost half of the respondents (42%) said that they had received a salary increase of between 1% and 5% this year. Another 43% said they had not been given a raise in 2003. However, just 11% of the IT professionals surveyed do not expect to receive more money in 2004, according to the report.

US jobs up

The US unemployment rate fell to 5.9% last month – the lowest rate for eight months – from 6% in October. The US economy added a lower than expected 57,000 new jobs during November, official figures have shown.

US productivity up 9.4% in Q3 2003

Productivity – the amount an employee produces for each hour worked – rose at a 9.4% annual rate in the Q3, the Labor Department said. That rate was stronger than the 8.1% gain initially estimated a month ago for the July-September period. And it is up from a 7% growth rate posted in the second quarter of the year. Most private analysts had expected the productivity figures would be revised higher: the consensus among economists was a gain of 9.2%. But no one expects those sorts of gains to continue.

AEA: tech job numbers in the US

Cyberstates 2003, an annual study by the American Electronics Association, showed that employment in the U.S. high-tech industry dropped 8% last year, to 6 million, from 6.5 million in 2001. In 2003, the loss is likely to be 234,000, or a 4% decline, Santa Clara, California-based association said. Electronics manufacturing saw the biggest fall in 2002, accounting for more than half of all technology jobs lost. The software industry saw a loss of 150,000 jobs, the first loss in the seven years that AEA has been publishing its Cyberstates report, it said. The only areas with good news to report was in research and development and testing laboratories, where employment increased by 7,000 jobs in 2002, AEA said.

California, while leading the country in high-tech jobs with 995,00 workers at the end of 2002, also lost the greatest number of jobs, with 123,000 people put out of work. Texas, in second place with 479,000 jobs, had lost 61,000 in the year. The District of Columbia saw a small rise of 2,200, while Wyoming gained 500 and Montana added 100 jobs. U.S. high-tech exports fell 12% to $166 billion in 2002. These represented 24 percent of all U.S. exports that year, the AEA said.

High unemployment expected in Germany

The five economists agreed with the government’s forecast for 1.5% economic growth next year. They said the figure could rise to 1.7% if Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder succeeds in passing a Jan. 1 income tax cut worth euro15.5 billion ($17.8 billion) ? a move currently stalled in the opposition-controlled upper house of parliament. The panel predicted that Germany’s jobless rate, which has weighed heavily on Schroeder’s popularity, will remain above 10% in 2004.

Reuters: Indian software salaries

Software workers with two years of experience are paid about 25,000 rupees ($545) a month, roughly one sixth of what their U.S. counterparts earn but a princely wage in a country with an average per capita income of $480 a year. Multinational company salaries are 50 to 60 percent higher at the entry-level and 30 percent higher at the middle management level when compared with Indian IT services companies