Work Poll: Salaries Are Slumping

Gone are the days of quick IPOs and found millions. In the wake of bankruptcies and financial problems in the optical networking space, most of the people who are lucky enough to still have their jobs aren't likely to be getting rich any time soon.

In response to Light Reading’s latest work poll, the Salary Survey, only 1 percent of the 495 respondents claimed to bring home more than $190,000 a year. In comparison, 6 percent said they made less than $40,000, while a large plurality, 36 percent, made between $70,000 and $100,000 a year.

But the true sign of the times is that salaries don’t seem to be rising much at all. Half of all respondents to the poll said they are still working for the same salary they had one year ago.

And they are among the lucky ones. Many people actually saw their salaries decline over the last year. While 5 percent of the respondents said they had received a raise of more than 20 percent since last year, 6 percent said their salaries had dropped by more than 20 percent in that time.

Even more dramatic than the downward curve on the salary scale is the decline in perks that people used to expect and count on when they took a job in the industry. A staggering 83 percent of polltakers say they received absolutely no perks like a company car or interest-free loan (obviously not many CEOs took the poll), and 61 percent claimed they received no bonus at all last year. Only 3 percent of respondents said they had received a bonus worth more than 40 percent of their salaries.

Stock options are also among the perks that seem to be disappearing. Whether it’s because the options simply aren’t worth anything anymore, or because companies have stopped handing them out, all of 36 percent of respondents said they had received stock options worth zero percent of their salaries, while 16 percent replied that their options weren’t worth more than 0 to 5 percent of their salaries. Only 2 percent had received stock options worth more than 40 percent of their salaries.

With dreary numbers like this, perhaps it’s no wonder people are pessimistic and bracing for tough times ahead. Very few seem to anticipate their salaries picking up over the next year. 39 percent of respondents said they expected their base salary to remain the same for the next year, while 30 percent don’t expect a raise of more than 5 percent. Only 3 percent expect to get more than a 20 percent raise over the next year.

Take the poll yourself by clicking here.

— Eugénie Larson, Reporter, Light Reading

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