Demand for web developers and designers rose sharply last year, but pay for tech workers remains flat due to a glut of out of work IT staff.
Last year the number of web development and design professionals working in the UK rose by 10 per cent to 41,000, according to a data gathered by NoPalaver, which provides accounting services to contractors.
The jump in web design and development roles is attributed to companies looking to redesign online stores built for desktop browsers to suit touchscreen smartphones and tablets.
However, while demand for web professionals is up, their average salary remained almost static, rising to £28,808 from £28,714 the year before.
The sluggish growth in pay is mirrored across the IT sector in the UK, with wages for IT workers rising just 1.1 percent in 2013 to £40,092. The previous year also saw average salary levels remain largely unchanged, with a 0.45 percent fall in IT worker salaries.
There is rising demand for IT workers in general, according to official figures. In June 2013, the total number of IT and telecoms professionals in the UK reached 839,000, up from 795,000 the year before, according to Labour Market Statistics from the Office for National Statistics.
That greater demand hasn’t resulted in larger pay increases because salaries are being kept down by competition for roles among the large number of out-of-work IT staff, according to NoPalaver.
Beyond web developers, software developers in general had one of the biggest increases in pay within the IT sector, although that rise was still modest, a 2.4 percent increase on the previous year to take the average salary to £38,740.
Employment is up among software developers, with the total number of roles rising 5.6 percent to 169,000 in 2013.
IT director was the only profession in the sector whose average wage fell, albeit fractionally, dropping 0.9 percent to a still significantly above average £63,263.
Graham Jenner, director at NoPalaver, predicted that consistent demand for IT workers would lead to “a more noticeable increase in contract and permanent pay over the longer run”.
Other research has suggested that the most in-demand IT skills are around big data, security and mobile development.