Can You Deal With a Pay Cut when the job market sours

It's been a year of plenty of layoffs, and not far behind that are pay cuts. From the top IT executive down through the ranks, across-the-board pay cuts and unpaid furloughs are a rising tide in the IT world.

Meanwhile, IT pay continues to shrink, according to a survey. A survey released in June found that the total compensation for IT professionals fell nearly 20 percent between January 2008 and June 2009.

What does all this mean for you? You could lose staff with a pay cut, but it's likely that IT workers will stick around because there are cuts all over the place these days. You may have to deal with sullen moods or workers not willing to work their hardest. On the other hard, your employees may understand what is happening, and go the extra mile.

Cutting the pay of IT professionals is risky, David Foote, CEO of Foote Partners, an IT compensation research firm in Vero Beach, Fla. , tells "Retention is a huge problem in IT, and [companies] need to start realizing that. If you make across-the-board pay cuts, the best people will leave," Foote said. "What companies are doing is firing people and putting the work on the backs of other people," Foote added. "We see a lot of highly paid but burned out people in IT. "

Until the rocky road of today's economy stabilizes, be ready for change in all forms. It may come as layoffs or pay cuts, but it may be coming down the road whether you like it or not.

(materials added July 2018)

Options that employees have if pay is too low

Now that the economy is booming and IT salaries are on the rise, employees now have more options. Attrition rates are increasing as employees become more mobile. If the compensation package is not adequate and competitive then employees have many more options.

NOTE: the table below is updated automatically with the latest IT salaries when a new salary survey is published. That happens every January and June. The historical data is available.

Latest Median IT Salaries

Latest Mean IT salaries
For the latest data go to the current IT Salary Survey

Salaries in IT have gone up 4.35% in the latest reporting period. On top of that there are many specialities within IT that are in high demand. Security, compliance and network management are amount the most in demand position. In many enterprises IT professionals are now being hired with operational groups and no longer report to the IT function.