UK IT workforce reaches all time high
Date: 29th July 2013
Surges 11% in one year!
30% increase in size of IT workforce since recession
Use of IT contractors grows fastest
The size of the UK's IT workforce has bounced back from recession and is now at its highest level since records began in 1978, says NoPalaver Group, a leading provider of accounting services to contractors.
The total number of self-employed and employed UK IT workers has reached 719,000* up 11% in just 12 months.
NoPalaver explain that is a 30% increase from 555,000 that the IT workforce fell to in March 31 2010 after the savage job cuttings of the recession.
NoPalaver says that the increase has been driven by the explosion of the 'App economy' and the growth of social media platforms. Bricks and mortar businesses are now also making greater use of technology, shifting more and more business onto online and mobile platforms and making increasingly sophisticated analysis of 'Big Data' to support their marketing activity.
NoPalaver adds that these figures demonstrate that more new IT jobs are being created in the UK than are being outsourced to India or the Philippines - dispelling the notion that opportunities in the sector would die out as a result of offshoring.
Graham Jenner, Director at NoPalaver, explains: "There has been a perception that IT jobs would all be offshored to India and other cheaper economies and that new opportunities in this country would more or less dry up."
"Of course there is still plenty of offshoring of IT jobs, but that is being outweighed by the dynamism of the UK IT sector. There are few successful UK businesses where the IT and the internet is not central to their expansion plans. The last few hold-outs in the retail sector are turning themselves multi-channel and even centres of tradition like Lloyds of London and the UK court system are wanting to speed up their adoption of IT."
"The IT sector had been hit hard by the recession, so the fact employers are feeling confident enough to hire more IT workers and invest in IT talent and technology projects is great news."
Use of contractors grows faster over the last year
NoPalaver adds that the growth the IT sector is experiencing is leading to a strong demand for highly experienced and skilled self-employed contractors in particular.
The number of UK job opportunities for self-employed contractors has increased by 23% in the last year to 92,000 from just 75,000 – twice the rate of growth for IT employees.
Graham Jenner adds: "Contractors can be a major asset to businesses due to the flexibility that they offer. With their specialist skills, they are also able to hit the ground running and focus their expertise quickly on areas which are crucial to the success of the business."
"There was high demand for self-employed contractors before the credit crunch hit, so it is good to see a return to the high rates which compensate for relative insecurity in employment that is part of a contractor's life."
*Year to March 31 2013