Americans have mediocre work spaces, slack off 40-hour weeks

42% of office workers graded their work space design a C. Another 10% rated their cubicle or office a D, and 4% gave it an F. Only 6% gave their space an A. Logitech this week released the results of the study, which surveyed 1,003 U.S. office workers. Those surveyed spent an average of 37.5 hours a week in their workspace, whether in an office, cubicle or shared space, according to the study. In all, office workers gave their respective spaces a 2.3 grade point average, the equivalent of a C+, Logitech said.

Average software engineering pay is $67,670

Computer-software engineering is the single fastest growing occupational field and is projected to be so through 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. In the latest data the government has compiled, the median annual salary for a software engineer working in the applications realm is US$67,670, with the highest-paid 10% with that job title pulling in more than $106,680. Those doing development work on the systems software side earn slightly more.

Candidates prepared with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering earn just a bit more when entering the job market fresh out of college than their computer-science-degreed counterparts — $53,924 and $52,723 respectively. A master’s degree adds about another $5,000 to starting salaries. On the computer-hardware side, engineers earn an average of $67,300. A job-seeker just out of a bachelor’s program can expect to garner about $53,924. A Ph.D. ups the ante considerably to $70,140.

US unemployment rate is 5.6%

The nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.6% in January to the lowest level in more than two years as companies added just 112,000 new jobs – fewer than expected but enough to keep alive hope for a turnaround in the struggling job market. The jobless rate fell 0.1% last month to the lowest level since October 2001, when it was 5.4%, the Labor Department said Friday. January’s rate matched the 5.6% posted in January 2002. Employers added new jobs last month at a pace not seen in three years. The last time payrolls expanded more than 112,000 was in December 2000, when companies added 124,000 positions.

IT salaries up 2% in 2003, average IT salary is $69.4K

After seeing average paychecks shrink in 2002, salaries for IT professionals inched up in 2003, according to a new report by Dice Inc., which surveyed 21,000 visitors to its online job recruitment site from January to December 2003. The average IT salary in 2003 reached $69,400, up about 2% from $67,900 in 2002. This boost is a reversal compared with the previous year, when Dice’s survey reported that average pay for IT pros fell in 2002 by about $500, to $67,900, from $68,400 in 2001. Looking ahead, Dice president and CEO Scot Melland says 72% of Dice’s employer clients plan to increase hiring during the first six months of this year. That’s almost a complete reversal from the 70% in 2002 who said they’d be hiring less in 2003.

Forrester: 26% of IT jobs gone by 2015

Another estimate by Forester Research goes into more specifics. Forrester estimates that by 2015, some 3.3 million service-sector jobs will be shipped overseas or rendered obsolete by technology. Forester analyst John McCarthy says jobs that are most at risk require fewer skills, are automated or are highly portable. Those include computer programming and software engineer jobs, that have long been leaving the country. By 2015, 26% of those jobs will be gone, says McCarthy. IT Facts - data and research from the information technology world

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