Doug has an excellent point. Are the salaries trending higher because of layoffs on the junior end of staffing? Could be the rise in average salaries is a function of layoffs at the lower end of the pay scale.
I'd like to see user selectable criteria for two or more demographics to generate salary information. For example, a geographic region, years of engineering, and a discipline to arrive at a salary. Or discipline, number of employees supervised, and years within a company. The existing single demographic related to a salary is certainly informational, but shallow given the data that has been collected.
Seems like engineers are in a better place than a lot of working Americans, at least according to a report I saw posted today on the Huffington Post. The report says the National Employment Law project crunched some recent Census numbers and found that low-wage jobs grew faster (3.2 percent) than higher-wage jobs which fell by 1.2 percent from the beginning of 2010 to the beginning of 2011. While it is still tough out there, it's nice to know that engineering skills can still command a premium.
It's good to see the income average still rising but I agree in order to truly understand what we are looking at one would need to correlate the numbers with the average of years worked. Perhaps, as stated previously, layoffs of younger workers or younger workers leaving has resulted in the "old guard" just picking up more work.
As much as I want to believe engineers have it better than a lot of Americans working out there, I believe engineering is one of those jobs where quite often the focus is to continue with the same or greater output, using less resources and a faster timeline. Then after things don't quite work out, we have designs that fit right into the designed by monkeys articles.
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