New report finds UK tech employment remains strong

The UK is expected to add nearly 15,000 technology-related jobs this year, according to a new report released by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the IT industry and workforce.

CompTIA's ‘State of the Tech Workforce UK’ reports that organisations employed approximately 1.98 million tech workers in 2021. Job growth was slower than expected as the UK continued to navigate through the widespread economic impact of the pandemic, but the tech industry avoided the job losses that affected many other industry sectors in the region.

The tech industry accounts for 5.5 per cent of the UK economy, or £82.6 billion. Since 2016, tech employment increased by an estimated 62,140 new jobs, or about 10,356 new jobs each year.

Graham Hunter, Executive Vice President at CompTIA said, "the tech sector in the UK is strong and growing stronger each year. The evidence is clear: A well-trained and certified tech workforce makes a significant impact on the nation's economy. And businesses of all sorts will need more skilled workers if we are going to maintain the growth resulting from the ongoing digital transformation efforts that accelerated during the pandemic."

Nearly 20 per cent of all employer tech job postings in 2021 were for positions in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, blockchain, and the internet of things, or jobs requiring skills in those areas.

Most tech workers (591,335 employees) are tied to employers in IT consultancy and services, such as managed services providers (MSPs). Other industry sectors that are well represented include telecom, data processing, and web portals (269,336); software and custom development (232,965); and tech manufacturing (109,868).

Estelle Johannes, Senior Director of Global Communities at CompTIA said, "over the last few years, the technology industry and technology professionals have proven how vital they are to the entire nation. The drastic changes and ongoing uncertainty highlighted how important a robust technology ecosystem is to the success of the economy."

There are 188,812 tech firms with payrolls across the UK with 44,831 tech business establishments in London. Other markets with strong tech sectors include Manchester (6,408 tech companies), Bristol (3,847), and Birmingham (3,129).

Northern Ireland is projected to see the largest percentage increase in net tech employment this year, with Scotland and England following and with tech employment expected to remain steady in Wales.

Other data points in the report illustrate the strength of the UK tech sector, including:

  • The top four metropolitan areas (London, Manchester, Bristol, and Glasgow) are home to more than 572,500 tech industry and tech occupation workers or about 1 in 3 tech workers in the region.
  • Birmingham saw the highest increase in net tech employment year over year.
  • Six metropolitan areas (Edinburgh, London, Bristol, Leeds, Glasgow, and Nottingham) have a higher concentration of tech workers than the national benchmark of 6.3%.
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