What slowdown?

The slowing economy isn't denting the pay and perks of highly skilled information technology workers, according to a new survey of nearly 200 companies.

In the last 12 months, the typical IT worker with hot skills received a 12.5% raise, up from 5% the previous year.

Two-thirds of IT workers also got bonuses that averaged 13% of base pay. And 15% received long-term incentives, such as stock options, typically worth 82% of base pay.

Today's hottest workers? PeopleSoft and SAP software specialists, according to an annual survey by Hewitt Associates, a global management and outsourcing firm based in Lincolnshire, Ill.

The college payoff

According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, college graduates earned almost $400 a week more than workers whose education ended with a high school degree.

While college graduates' earnings have grown during the last two decades, high school dropouts have seen their earnings decline (when adjusted for inflation).

The average weekly earnings for people 25 and older in 2000 were:

College grad, $896; less than a bachelor's degree, $598; high school degree, $506; and high school dropout, $360.

George W. does it

Human resource managers believe that Americans should follow President Bush's lead and take more vacation time, according to a new poll.

Among the 870 HR professionals who responded to the poll by HRnext.com this month, 66% said Americans should get more vacation time. An additional 26% agreed it probably is a good idea but wondered who would pay for extra time off.

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