Salaries for Tech Professionals in Decline

The IEEE-USA performs an annual salary survey of electrical engineers and technology professionals. The recently released their latest survey, based on 2003 data. The news is disturbing. For the first time in the 31-year history of the survey, professional salaries fell. This has never happened before, even during previous tech recessions.

I think the news is even worse than it appears. The survey only covers people working full-time in their area of professional competence. This means the legions of people who have been unemployed or underemployed during the recession are omitted from the numbers. Even when you exclude those hardest hit, the numbers look crummy.

The insult upon ourtage is that companies continue to expand their outsourcing and guest worker programs. The justification always given is the lack of skilled professionals in this country. The declining salaries prove the falsity of that excuse. If there was such tight demand, salaries would be going up.