Yoh: More bad news

Every time I feel hopeful (which can be attached to something as temporary as a dusting the furniture in my dining room after several months), I look at some job survey and get depressed. This morning's downer has to do with the current wage status of technology jobs and it's not good.

Yoh, the Philadelphia based staffing firm, released its quarterly technology wage index, now at its lowest point in several years. And the folks at Yoh used a depressing term in discussing it -- "wage capitulation."

 "We see this quarter's decline as further evidence of a sluggish recovery that continues to impact demand for skilled workers, and has forced job seekers to lower their wage expectations-even for highly skilled positions," said Yoh's president, Lori Schultz, in a statement attached to the report. The statement went on to discuss the concept of "wage capitulation," defined as or "the willingness of job seekers to accept a job offer today because they do not expect tomorrow's opportunities to hold much in the way of increased pay."

Wages declined  7.8 percent, year over year.

The shift in technology wages, the report says, represents a move away from highly-skilled work to lower-level commoditized projects. For example, in technology, demand for high-skilled engineers and programmers fell as companies enhanced call centers and help desk capabilities to hold on to market share. 

Interestingly, Yoh found that companies have cash on hand to take delayed projects out of their mothball status and to make that cash stretch by being able to get workers  to accomplish these projects for the lowest possible wages in years. 

I interviewed Schultz's boss, William Yoh. He was just elected chairman of the American Staffing Association, the industry's largest trade group. You can read my story in Monday's Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.