New data has indicated that the British digital sector is expanding at a more rapid pace than the remainder of the UK economy.

Strong digital economy

A report published by Ofcom, the UK’s telecoms industry regulator, in December 2014 suggests that Britain has cultivated one of the strongest digital economies on earth. Ofcom estimated that UK consumers spend an average of nearly £2,000 online per annum, meaning it has the highest e-commerce spending rate of any major world nation.

Outsized growth

A new survey of 2,000 UK-based digital businesses conducted by Tech City UK shows that these companies are expanding 36% faster than the national average for other sectors of the UK economy. The resulting Tech Nation 2016 report found that digital businesses now have a collective annual turnover of £161 billion.

Tech City UK’s research determined that UK digital sector employment expanded by 11.2% from 2011 to 2014, meaning the industry now employs 1.56 million people throughout Britain. Over two fifths (41%) of these positions are based in non-digital UK sectors such as the finance industry.

Transforming business practise

The report further showed that while the average national salary equals £50,000, the average digital salary is 36% higher. Also, digital salaries are expanding at a more rapid pace than the local average in 80% of the UK’s ‘tech clusters’ – areas with a high percentage of tech start-ups in close proximity.

Commenting on the release of Tech City UK’s data, Prime Minister David Cameron was quoted by Start-ups, a UK-based online new business publication, saying: “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.”

Driving growth

Explaining further Eileen Burbidge, chair of Tech City UK and a partner at London-based venture capital company Passion Capital, added: “The UK’s credentials as a home for digital excellence have been well established, and now Tech Nation 2016 provides a new level of insight into the impressive productivity of our digital economy – driving growth across all sectors and regions of the country.”

Digital technologies are changing UK consumer spending patterns.  Increasingly, people are utilising e-commerce channels to execute everyday financial transactions. In turn, this is providing UK-based digital business with the revenue required to hire more personnel, increase wages and boost turnover, allowing the sector to expand at a more rapid rate than other UK industries.


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