11 Feb 2016 11:30am

UK digital tech industry rockets

The UK’s digital tech industries grew 32% faster than the rest of the UK economy, according to analysis by Tech City UK and innovation charity Nesta

The report Tech Nation 2016 detailed how the digital tech economy is driving economic growth, productivity, employment and regional development in the UK and reimaging traditional industries.

The report identified 58,000 active digital tech businesses in the UK. These businesses are concentrated in clusters across the country with three quarters operating outside of London.

Over 80% of tech nation clusters have seen growth in digital turnover, jobs, employment and advertised digital salaries, according to the report.

The estimated turnover of UK digital tech industries reached £161bn in 2014.

The UK’s digital tech industries grew 32% faster than the rest of the UK economy from 2010-2014, in terms of turnover.

London had the highest digital turnover with £62.4bn in 2014, followed by Reading and Bracknell with £10bn.

Southampton saw the most significant digital turnover growth of 180% between 2010 and 2014, followed by Truro, Redruth and Camborne with 153% growth.

In 2014, the gross value added (GVA) of the nation’s digital tech industries was estimated at £87bn, according to the report.

Top sectors include app and software development (17%). Data management and analytics (12%) and hardware, devices and open source hardware (11.5%).

The industry is also creating significant employment opportunities, accounting for 1.56 million jobs across Britain.

Jobs in the UK digital tech economy increased by 11.2% from 2011-2014, that’s almost three times faster than the rest of the UK’s economy. These jobs are found across the country with 80% of them based outside of London.

According to the report, jobs in the digital tech industries were 90% more productive than jobs in the economy overall between 20120-2014.

The analysis also highlighted that the UK’s digital tech economy is creating new industries and transforming existing ones.

Almost half of jobs (41%) in the UK’s digital tech economy are in traditionally non-digital industries – such as the public sector and financial services.

The data revealed that 45% of businesses operating within marketing, PR and design, and 33% operating within film and broadcast media, are now primarily digital technology businesses.

Those working in the digital tech sector also benefit from higher salaries. The average advertised salary in digital roles is just under £50,000 – 36% higher than the national average salary.

In 2015, over a third of digital job adverts were in traditional industries, with the largest volume of digital job adverts for roles in financial services activities.

London has the highest proportion of digital jobs (328,223) while Bristol and Bath account for highest productivity (£296,340 in terms of sales per worker) and Leeds experienced the highest growth of 29% in digital salary growth.

Sinead Moore


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