On the face of it, software development jobs should be easy to find. The software developer workforce increased by 132,000 jobs last year, to 1.235 million, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
And the demand for application developers may be raising pay. Employers offer premiums, or cash bonuses, to workers they want to retain, and those premiums have increased 9% over the last two years -- 4.8% last year alone, according to Foote Partners, an IT labor research firm that gathers data from some 2,600 employers. That's about double the rate of increase for premiums for all IT skills.
But that rising tide isn't lifting the boats of all application programmers. In a recent survey of about 200 midsize to large organizations, IT research firm Computer Economics found that programmers make up just under 20% of IT staffs this year, compared to just over 22% in 2012. That's not a big change, but the trend reverses what was once an upward course.
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