Morale among IT workers has dipped to an all-time low, even though demand for certain skills is rising, according to a new study from Meta Group.

Seventy-two percent of the 650 organizations contacted by the research company said the continuing lack of job growth in the industry is dampening the spirits of IT staff. More than half of the companies said they lost staff this year.

Some of the companies are paying attention to retaining key performers, because doing so is less expensive than replacing staff. But the combination of fewer employees, fewer dollars for projects, and the perception that there is no need to focus on retention will not help productivity, the research company said.

Eighty-one percent of respondents, compared with 86 percent last year, said they hired staff this year. However, the overall loss of employees seems to be slowing, according to Meta Group.

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