While Sir Mervyn King’s ominous warnings about a dangerous new economic storm emanating from the Eurozone are not to be taken lightly, contractors supplying the UK’s IT skills market have some encouraging news to boost their morale: ReThink Recruitment’s annual survey of IT directors reveals that a majority expect pay rates in their departments to increase over the coming year.

The anticipated rises continue a trend seen over the last 12 months, during which 54% of directors pushed IT salaries up by 4.3%, trouncing the 2.3% seen by general workers. Even so, inflation is eroding the real value of incomes. Noting the RPI inflation rate of 5.2%, which has wiped around £360 off the purchasing power of average annual earnings, ReThink spokesman Michael Bennett said:

“Salaries for many IT staff have actually fallen in real terms over the last year. However, when compared with the average UK worker, IT staff salaries are still ahead of the game.”

He added that ReThink had “not any seen any major rate reductions in our clients in the first quarter.”

Techies working through umbrella companies may be heartened to hear that, in retail and financial services especially, pay rates have ‘rocketed’, with specialists in mcommerce securing premiums 20% higher than those enjoyed by experts in traditional mcommerce.

Moreover, an impending ‘Security II’ compliance deadline is driving many insurers to recruit experts in IT contracting and a shortage in skills has driven salaries skywards, with senior specialists earning over £1,000 per day (that is £150,000 a year). According to ReThink, there is no sign of those pay packages falling.

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