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By eweek  |  Posted 2003-04-14 Print this article Print

Just a note to say thanks for putting the whole offshore sourcing issue into perspective. As the media relations manager at a high-tech PR firm, I know first-hand its not just the technologists who are affected. Its also all of the support jobs that the IT industry creates, such as marketing, sales, HR, that admin clerk down the hall whos a single mother, etc. They too are feeling the pain in a very deep and personal way, just as that former Air Force pilot did. Yes, priorities such as perks got skewed in the 90s, but now the pendulum has swung way too far to the other end. Somethings got to give. Tim Boivin
Media Relations Manager
Tech Image Ltd.
Yes, the reason we are not hearing the fussing is the ever-increasing offshore flow (3 million in 10 years??) and the 500,000 "temps" remaining, coupled with the nearly 20 percent tech unemployment. In NoCal, consultant/contract tech jobs are almost nonexistent. The pay rates for these jobs are running at about 40 percent of 96-97 rates (not the dot com boom rates)—at $35/hr 1099 (tax status), no bennies. This is for highly experienced, senior folks. A friend of mine, a very good, 40ish senior programmer, finally found a job after six months: $5,500/month 1099 no bennies—about a six-month job. He started 1/1/03 and has yet to be paid.
That "crying American" is not at all an exaggeration nor an exception. He is probably expecting bankruptcy, foreclosure and the disintegration of his family. I spoke with a friend recently who, in the 97-01 period, had a booming tech temp business (job shop). He told me business is way down: He has very few jobs (not one he could tell me of), and those jobs are being placed out of our area (NoCal). So we are truly in a bizarre sector depression here, with home equity extracted from unsustainably high home prices propping us up. And our CEOs still rake in tens of millions and the politicians do the same. Michael Roberts


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