Salary levels for the highest level of IT managers in the U.S. and Canada have slipped for the first time since 1985, as they have been adversely affected by the recent economic downturn, according to a study released in June.

CIO salary levels at large corporations have declined 36 per cent during the past year, while CIO’s at medium-sized companies have seen pay levels drop 31 per cent, according to a midyear 2001 study by management consulting firm Janco Associates in Park City, Utah. The study looked at IT manager compensation levels in 28 cities in Canada as well as a number of U.S. cities.

As the economy worsens, mid-sized organizations are hit harder and are cutting costs and staff faster, said M. Victor Janulaitis, chief executive officer of Janco Associates. Many larger organizations have imposed hiring freezes as well as stretched out the time period between normal compensation increases, he said.

Reduced corporate earnings have driven the trend to lower total compensation, Janulaitis said. Decreased demand for IT professionals has occurred because of extensive head-count reductions to bolster earnings and avoid company closures, he added.

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