IT contractor pay in 2012 defied the downturn

Pay for the bulk of IT contractors over the last 12 months defied the economic downturn, as more than half managed to keep their rates steady and almost a third eked out an increase – of 10 per cent or greater.

In its annual probe into the technology workforce, recruiter Mortimer Spinks found that - among IT contractors - only 13 per cent have been told to lower their daily or hourly rate to reflect the fiscal pressure.

Fifty-five per cent of the IT contractors kept their rates intact and avoided a dip, trumped by 32 per cent who reported an increase – half of whom are being paid at least 10 per cent more than the previous year.

Web developers are the most likely contractors to have secured a rate rise in 2012, closely followed by Architects, shows the study, which analysed almost 20 contract IT jobs, ranging from Helpdesk up to CTO.

Indicating clients will go far beyond inflation to attract or retain such contractors, 23 per cent of the web developers and 39 per cent of the architects have been permitted to bump up their pay by 11 per cent and upwards.

While inflationary rises of between one and four per cent have been handed out (most often to Testers and CIOs), they are unheard of to UX/UI contractors as, of the 30 per cent whose rates are up, all of them secured over 10 per cent.    

Software engineers have also fared well, on a contract or permanent basis, with salaries rising for 61 per cent of the full-time sample and for 34 per cent of the contractors – of whom 14 per cent have seen more than a 10 per cent bump.

But as ever, there are no free lunches. In fact, more than half of the IT contractors reported an “increase in the responsibilities of the role they perform”, most acutely for contract programme and project managers.

To the agency behind the study, these bigger workloads for contractors are “a signal that points to growth in the market” which, for coming at a time of austerity, wasn’t necessarily expected.

Mortimer Spinks explained: “In a time of economic uncertainty it could seem surprising that by all accounts the technology industry is continuing to invest in its staff.”

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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