Research: booming information economy

January 2014

Hand on laptop touchpadNew research from e-skills UK, Intellect and BCS shows that between 2010 and 2011, the information economy grew by more than twice the rate of the economy as a whole.

Its gross value added (GVA) is now £72bn - or 5 per cent of the UK total - and has grown by 5 per cent over the period, compared with 2 per cent for the economy in total. This means that every worker in the sector accounts for £99,000 of GVA - more than double the all-industry average of £47,000.

This growth is driven by the high quality of staff in the sector, suggests the report. The average worker is highly educated - nearly two thirds are educated to degree level, compared with a workforce average of 40 per cent.

He (and he is almost certainly a ‘he’ - women remain woefully under-represented, holding only 22 per cent of posts in the sector) is likely to be in a professional role: three in five information economy workers are in one, compared with fewer than one in five across the whole workforce.

Small wonder that the sector is a magnet for ambitious young people: in 2012, more than 11,000 graduates found employment with an Information Economy firm or role, accounting for around 10 per cent of undergraduate leavers. It’s also a hotbed of entrepreneurialism: a quarter of information economy enterprises are less than two years old, compared with around 1 in 6 of all UK enterprises.

‘This research shows that tech in the UK and the wider Information Economy is in robust health,’ says Julian David of industry body Intellect. ‘The UK tech sector is critical to the national economy - across all industries we employ more than 1.4 million people, representing 5 per cent of the total UK workforce.

‘Tech in the UK sits at the heart of all kinds of activities and advances, from education to energy and from finance to fashion. This research is a timely reminder that continued economic recovery is critically dependent on digital expertise - and that the UK tech sector is well placed to lead it.’

‘Employers across the Information Economy are committed to driving growth further and faster,’ adds Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK. ‘They know that, with the right skills in place, the UK has the potential to be a global leader in the digital industries. They are working together to ensure that as a nation we have the skills base to take advantage of the opportunities. It’s rare to see such unity of purpose in an industry - but if the stakes are high, the possibilities are boundless.’

Information economy: Economic estimates 2013 (PDF)

There are no comments on this item

Leave Comment

Post a comment