Software developers’ pay checks hit hard

The US software jobs market might have grown by nearly 64,000 jobs last year, but as the workforce expanded, the average size of workers’ pay checks declined by nearly two percent.

According to ComputerWorldnew workers being hired are paid less than those already on the job.

The TechAmerica Foundation, in its annual Cyberstates report, said that the average annual wage of all workers in the software services sector was $99,000 in 2012, about $2,000 less than last year.

Matthew Kazmierczak, a senior vice president at TechAmerica, said if there was a lot of hiring in an industry and the pay for new hires is below average, the average wage would fall.

What could be happening is that the new hires are mostly entry level or people without the same specialised skills or years of experience.

It is also possible that the recession is being used as an excuse to keep wages for new hires low as more workers are competing for jobs.

The cyberstates report puts the tech labour force at 5.95 million in 2012, an increase of 1.1 percent from last year. Of that, 1.87 million workers are in software services jobs.

The software services category includes government defined labour categories like software publishers, custom programmers, computer facilities management and other computer related services. They are supposed to be the best paid and the largest segment of the tech work force.

The next largest, engineering and tech services, employs 1.62 million. Wages for workers in this segment increased by $1,500 to $92,500. But unlike software services, job growth was modest, increasing by only 11,300 last year.