IT jobs in the UK continue to grow, with hiring levels reaching almost the same level they were at before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
According to government figures, job vacancies in the information and communication sector reached 116,000 in the first week of March 2021, significantly up from the 85,000 roles advertised in January.
SEE: Working from home: The future of business is remote (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Working from home: How to get remote right (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
February 2021 saw 111,000 tech jobs advertised, and average salaries in the IT sector reached £54,726 ($76,219), compared with £51,219 ($71,337) 12 months ago.
Data analyzed by Tech Nation on behalf of the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), based on figures from the Office of National Statistics and Companies House, show that 19,465 new businesses were registered in the UK tech sector between January and December 2020. This is the equivalent of a new tech business launching every 30 minutes.
Oliver Dowden, UK digital secretary, said: “Back in 2018 a new tech business was born in the UK every hour. We said we wanted to double that rate and we have. Tech will lead the way in helping us build back better and it’s fantastic to see so many people kicking off new businesses and creating thousands of jobs up and down the country.
The tech sector has been one of the few to weather the coronavirus storm and come out the other side stronger than before, largely thanks to the acceleration of automation and remote-working tools that have allowed businesses to keep operating throughout the pandemic.
According to Tech Nation, the 10 start-ups that raised the most capital in 2020 were all in industries deemed critical during the pandemic, namely insurance, e-commerce, online payments, healthcare and mobility.
More entrepreneurs launched businesses across the information and communication category than in agriculture (4,955), production (14,435), motoring (6,405), finance (10,730), real estate (12,135), education (3,125), health and social care (5,915), and arts, entertainment and recreation (10,830).
SEE: Hiring Kit: Technical Recruiter (TechRepublic Premium)
One in 10 advertised job roles is now in the information and communication sector, according to figures compiled by Adzuna for Tech Nation at the end of 2020. This sector covers software development and applications, web building, computer programming and consultancy.
Data published by ONS in February revealed that there are now almost 1.6m technology professionals in the UK, with more 100,000 new jobs created since April 2020.
Overall, employment across the whole tech sector has increased by 11% in two years to almost three million, said Tech Nation. This includes those in non-tech roles such as legal, marketing, HR and administration, which ONS figures suggest make up more than a third (37%) of employees in the digital tech sector.
Gerard Grech, founding chief executive of Tech Nation, said: “Even in the midst of a global pandemic, the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit cannot be dampened. Startups and scaleups formed during these last few months will be ones to watch in the future.
“Just as companies like Zoopla, DeepMind and Wise were born out of the last financial crisis, these figures give hope that the UK’s next big tech firms will be born out of this one.”