IT workers can expect pay increases in 2002: survey

Results from the Toronto Board of Trade’s annual compensation survey released Nov. 14 still point toward salary increases in 2002 for IT professionals, despite the economy’s current downward spiral.

The events of Sept. 11 and the current economic slump prompted the Board of Trade in October to conduct with respondents the first ever follow-up survey to validate survey data collected earlier in the summer.

“We didn’t know what to expect which is why we did the follow up survey,” said Andrew Labute, vice-chair of the Toronto Board of Trade’s compensation surveys committee. Labute said the follow-up survey only measures changes to salary forecasts and was done to ensure that the findings were still relevant.

The annual survey is actually five individual compensation surveys, with the separate IT compensation survey specifically for IT positions in the private and public sector, Labute said. For 2001, the median total compensation for IT managers stands at $90,000. Cash bonuses and individual incentive bonuses continue to be common types awarded to IT professionals, according to survey results.

The findings show that across the board, industries have on average lowered their original increases by about a half per cent, Labute said. The follow-up survey predicted a 3.3 per cent increase to base salary for IT professional in management positions and 3.2 per cent for non-managerial employees in 2002, compared to earlier findings of 3.7 per cent (management) and 3.9 per cent (non-management).

“The increases for managerial and non-managerial are still relatively close in this industry,” Labute said. “Managers are not reaping huge increases based on the backs of their employees.”

The survey also found that almost 40 per cent of employers utilized “training for future needs” as a recruitment or retention strategy.

The good news is most companies are continuing to provide realistic increases to base salaries and companies that focus on retaining employees will be prepared for the upturn in the economy, Labute said.

“If you don’t reward your employees, someone else may,” Labute said. “From the results of the survey it would appear that the IT industry is in as good a shape as anyone else.”

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