Economic Worries Hitting IT Pros

New reports highlight the toll of economic worries on IT salaries and worker confidence.

Suggesting that the credit sector's financial woes are creeping up on technology professionals, two new reports highlight waning IT confidence and sliding IT wages in recent months.

Triggered by lower hiring expectations and financial concerns, IT worker confidence declined for the fourth consecutive month in January. The confidence index, as measured by Hudson, a recruiting and staffing firm, found that the number of employees who described their finances as "excellent" fell 5 percent in January to a low of 14 percent.

There was an additional 5 perfect drop in IT workers who said that their finances were improving. Though holiday spending may have played a role in waning IT confidence -- 57 percent of IT workers reported that holiday-related expenses were making it more difficult to pay their bills in December -- other numbers suggest that there are bigger issues at hand.

Only 25 percent of IT workers said that they expect their companies to increase headcount in January, a 3 percent drop from December.

Meanwhile, according to a report released by Dice, a careers site for IT pros, technology professionals received much smaller pay raises in 2007 than they did in 2006. While IT salaries increased 5.4 percent in 2006 (to $73,308), they grew by only 1.7 percent in 2007 (to $74,570).

The credit crisis affected IT workers in the banking and financial services sector, who received only a 0.6 percent increase in 2007 after an 8.5 percent increase in 2006.

IT managers, including project managers and MIS managers, received the biggest salary increases at 5 and 7.8 percent respectively. However, MIS managers had actually taken a slight (about half a percent) salary hit between 2005 and 2006.