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CNN: Better times for better pay

Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
http://money.cnn.com/2005/05/10/news/economy/jobs_quality/index.htm


NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Growth in the job market isn't just Wal-Mart greeters or burger flippers any more.

A closer look at the strong April jobs report shows that higher-wage jobs are back -- finally growing a hair faster than lower-paying jobs for just the second time in nearly four years. It also happened last October.

And even some high-paying businesses that kept shedding workers while the overall job market rebounded modestly last year are finally showing job growth.
Don Stadler
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Posts: 451
Very good news, if true. I see some signs that it might be so. But I also see a pattern of high contract rates and lowball offers on permanent positions. That may indicate high current demand but low expectations for the future....
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Don Stadler:
Very good news, if true. I see some signs that it might be so. But I also see a pattern of high contract rates and lowball offers on permanent positions. That may indicate high current demand but low expectations for the future....


I've seen a definite increase in the number of senior full time, IT positions advertised in the "Careers" section of the local newspaper. These were completely absent for several years.
Jason Cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 287
Funny how the good news gets so few replies.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15957
    
  19

Originally posted by Rob Aught:
Funny how the good news gets so few replies.


One monkey don't make no circus. I am encouraged, but at the moment only one of the major employers in my town is doing significant hiring, my current employer's not feeling pinched enough to restore me to a pre-recession salary level, the economy's imrpoved, but even non-tech people I talk to feel insecure about their long-term employment prospects/ability to replace their job should they get laid off and I'm still worried about offshoring.

I'd probably discount most of the above, but I'm expecting the offshoring issue to follow a pattern similar to what happened in manufacturing. First they attempted to offshore everything and it blew up in their faces. So they brought a lot of it back home. Then, however, they analyzed what went wrong, made some corrections, sent things back offshore, rinse, repeat, etc.

At the moment, I figure we're in the trough between the first and second offshoring waves, and I'm uncertain how much the next wave will hurt. It's kept me from buying a new car, doing significant home improvements, or making other "big-ticket" purchases (like maybe a home theater). I also took money that would otherwise be invested and paid down the mortgage so that if I get another 2-year "unpaid vacation" I won't have to live in the streets. Now you know why the recovery is so muted.

If it turns out that IT is unlike manufacturing and that we've already found a viable equilibium between offshore and onshore work, that's fine and I, at least, would feel more like spending money on nonessentials and throwaways again. However, unlike Carolina textile workers and Florida sugar farmers, those of us in IT have no advocates in the federal government willing to (re-)impose tariffs to attempt a balance between taking advantage of lower cost of offshore products and keeping us employed and able to afford to actually buy those lower-cost products/pay taxes/re-elect officials to whom we owe gratitude.

I am encouraged by recent developments, but even "cautiously optimistic" would be overstating it. After all, consider the quote: "And even some high-paying businesses that kept shedding workers while the overall job market rebounded modestly last year are finally showing job growth. "

When "some" becomes "most" or at least "many", then I'll start to post positive commemnts here.

Or maybe not. I might just do like our Indian friends here and spend my time talking about the relative merits of different employers and what makes good job offers.
[ May 16, 2005: Message edited by: Tim Holloway ]

Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
And remember that they don't state WHAT higher wage jobs...
Lawyers, doctors, insurance salesmen, are higher wage jobs as well.


42
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
article goes a bit more into detail:

Computer system design and related services, which lost jobs from 2001 through early 2004, also posted a modest gain in April, a trend that started late last year.
Jason Cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 287
I doubt software offshoring will work quite like manufacturing did. One thing that many people still big on offshore continue to fail to realize is that building software is not the same as building a car.

Which is not to say that all offshoring is worthless. I can see it as a benefit to the industry and even to those of us living in the US. The trend I'm waiting for is for technology professionals to have a voice again. It seems like ever since the crash we've been pretty much ignored. I'm still just flabberghasted at how often people with absolutely ZERO technical knowledge are the ones making the decisions affecting IT strategies. I know on the project I just left it was another team, outside of the IT group, that made all decisions as to what would happen and when. Even upgrade paths.

It's a backlash to what happened to just before the crash, when I saw IT professionals making ALL decisions if it had to go on their servers or run against their software. It was interesting to see marketing managers bowing to the whims of line programmers.

It would be interesting to see things STOP swinging back and forth and actually achieve some semblence of balance and cooperation. Frankly, in the current US corporate culture I don't see that happening though.
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Rob Aught:
I doubt software offshoring will work quite like manufacturing did. One thing that many people still big on offshore continue to fail to realize is that building software is not the same as building a car.

Which is not to say that all offshoring is worthless. I can see it as a benefit to the industry and even to those of us living in the US. The trend I'm waiting for is for technology professionals to have a voice again. It seems like ever since the crash we've been pretty much ignored. I'm still just flabberghasted at how often people with absolutely ZERO technical knowledge are the ones making the decisions affecting IT strategies. I know on the project I just left it was another team, outside of the IT group, that made all decisions as to what would happen and when. Even upgrade paths.

It's a backlash to what happened to just before the crash, when I saw IT professionals making ALL decisions if it had to go on their servers or run against their software. It was interesting to see marketing managers bowing to the whims of line programmers.

It would be interesting to see things STOP swinging back and forth and actually achieve some semblence of balance and cooperation. Frankly, in the current US corporate culture I don't see that happening though.


What you are seeing is the normal situation for IT. Programmers are viewed by the "suits" as overpaid clerks, who they wish they could be rid of one way or another. Business decisions are almost always made by people from sales and marketing, since upper management thinks they bring in all the revenue.

The only answer to this is for IT to take the same road taken by law and accounting, establish a true profession, organize and make business pay.
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
The only answer to this is for IT to take the same road taken by law and accounting, establish a true profession, organize and make business pay.

I hate to tell you this, but some law and accounting jobs have already been off-shored.

You meet locally with a Partner, but the grunt work of preparing a contract or a tax return can be done anywhere.


Mike Gershman
SCJP 1.4, SCWCD in process
Jason Cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 287
Originally posted by Mike Gershman:

I hate to tell you this, but some law and accounting jobs have already been off-shored.

You meet locally with a Partner, but the grunt work of preparing a contract or a tax return can be done anywhere.


I can't imagine that will go any better than software offshoring has. Standard contracts, sure. Regular tax returns, maybe. It's the exceptions and the custom cases that are going to be tougher.

Even then, I wonder about the cost of coordinating such an effort. I know one frustration in software is that the amount of time, money, and effort that often goes into making an offshore process successful could just as easily been spent domestically and you'd get the product sooner and for about the same (or less). I'm still trying to figure out what the problem is that offshore supposedly solves.

The only real success stories I have seen have either been lots of upfront planning and documentation or for applications that are fairly rote. I have a hard time believing that anything other than producing things that have a clear blueprint can be successfully sent overseas.

Or rather, it could be done but companies would have to start listening to their IT people again. At which point I think most of the follies would simply be exposed. So, not getting my hopes up.
 
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