On Nov. 29, President Barack Obama announced a two-year pay freeze for non-military federal workers. And on Dec. 3, the government said that the unemployment rate is stuck at 9.8 percent — which will translate to anemic pay gains.
Not at Google Inc. The search-engine behemoth, looking to stem the defection of key workers to other hot Silicon Valley employers, announced last month that its workforce of about 22,000 employees will get a 10 percent wage hike starting in 2011. (Imagine — when will the average employee feel it’s a reasonable gamble to walk into the boss’ office and demand a 10 percent raise or threaten to walk?)
The significance of Google’s across-the-board pay raise extends far beyond corporate competition. It reflects a war for talent that is heating up throughout the information technology ecosystem. “Google has to preempt the desire for its talented employees to seek work elsewhere,” says Richard Florida of the University of Toronto.
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