The average salary in the hi-tech sector dropped 25 percent in April compared with the same month a year ago as a wave of layoffs contines to spread across the labor market, the Jobby on-line employment center reported on Sunday. "The hi-tech sector has been hit hard by a sweeping fall in the number of companies hiring workers. At the same time, there is a steep drop in salary offers for workers seeking employment in the sector," said Gilad Dayan, director of on-line employment center www.jobby.co.il. "Fierce competition on every available position coupled with a rising number of hi-tech workers who are forced to reduce their salary expectations is leading to a dramatic fall in salaries offered in the sector." The survey conducted by Jobby Web site, which advertises more than 12,000 positions and publishes the details of over 60,000 jobseekers at any given moment, found that in April, average salaries in the hi-tech sector came down 25%, while the number of jobseekers in the sector jumped 53% during March and April compared with the same period last year. Forteen percent of all the workers employed in the sector during the peak period had been looking for work for more than three months, according to data collected from the job Web site and expert estimates, Dayan said. Also on Sunday the JobMaster on-line employment site reported that during the first quarter of this year the number of jobseekers sending their CVs for advertised positions rose by 40%, to 30,000, compared with the same period in 2008. "Among the jobseekers are of course people who have already been laid off and are not working currently, but we are seeing a fast rising trend in the number of jobseekers who are still working and are checking up on the labor market to keep "a finger on the pulse," said Shai Chen, JobMaster's marketing and business development manager. "As a result of the panic regarding the economic crisis, the wave of layoffs and economic difficulties of large companies, many employees are already looking for job alternatives in the case they are next." At the same time, the number of advertised positions fell by a moderate 10%, to 10,000, during the first quarter of this year. "The 10% fall in the number of advertised positions is a sign of the recession which is felt in almost every sector, but at least there are still thousands of available positions advertised on our Web site by many employers," Chen said. The main sectors affected by the downturn in advertised positions were the capital market and hi-tech sectors, as well as openings for executives. On the other hand, there was an increase in the number of advertised jobs in the sales and customer services sectors as well as for jobs for university students.