News: UK’s digital tech industries are growing 32% faster than the rest of the economy.
Digital tech businesses in the UK are growing 32% faster than the rest of the economy, with a combined annual turnover of £161bn and 1.56 million jobs.
At 11.2%, jobs in digital business grew almost three times faster than other sectors between 2011-2014. The jobs are also amongst the best paid, as the average advertised salary in digital roles is nearly £50,000 – 36% higher than the national average.
Out of the 1.56 million digital jobs, 41% have been created outside of traditionally non-digital industries, such as the public sector and financial services, according to a report by the government-backed organisation Tech City UK.
The Tech Nation 2016 report says that digital productivity is surpassing other segments of the economy, with employees within digital tech industries found to be 90% more productive.
Digital technology was also found to play a key role in supporting growth across UK cities, with digital salaries growing faster than the local average in 80% of clusters. Furthermore, over 80% of clusters identified by Tech Nation 2016 have seen growth in turnover or digital jobs.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Britain’s world leading tech sector gives us a competitive edge that is not just transforming our daily lives but also our economy. Tech is transforming the way we do all kinds of business.
"Indeed, more than half of all digital jobs now aren’t in high-tech hubs of London or Leeds – they are in businesses of every description, in every sector. This Government will continue to back, with all levers at our disposal, the innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship that is redefining and strengthening the modern British economy."
Innovation charity Nesta CEO Geoff Mulgan said: "Digital technologies are unlike any others – they change everything businesses do. That’s why, as this research confirms, digital jobs and activity are becoming ever more important in apparently non-digital industries.
"And it’s why the pay premium is so high, at an average of over £15,000 for digital over non-digital jobs. I hope that parents and teenagers will get the message – that acquiring digital skills pays off, wherever you are."
The Tech Nation 2016 report has been jointly produced by Nesta, with more than 2,000 respondents from digital businesses across the country contributing insights.
Research published by O2 in October found that the country will need 2.287 million digitally skilled workers by 2020.
Jonathan Bridges, head of cloud at British cloud and network provider Exponential-e, said: "We need to continue investing in upskilling employees with those digital competences and specialities that demand a premium. Developing training initiatives and academies to teach new digital skills will benefit organisations that employ people for the soft skills they can bring to the workforce.
"By combining digital acumen with a natural aptitude for communication, interpersonal capabilities and teamwork, both the workforce and customer experience will benefit."
A recent analysis of ONS data by recruitment firm Randstad Technologies found that technology is the most recession-proof sector in the country, where the wage bill rose by 82% between 2002 and 2014.