Powering UK tech and driving the economy

Powering UK tech and driving the economy

This research was undertaken by researchers at Tech Nation using administrative data made available via the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service (SRS), which is being expanded and improved with ADR UK funding.

This research was published as a report, led by Dr George Windsor of Tech Nation, which captures the strength, depth and breadth of digital tech activity in the UK. These findings have helped develop an understanding of the vibrant digital tech landscape in the UK.

This report used Business Structure Database (BSD), Annual Business Survey (ABS), Annual Population Survey (APS), and Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) data to identify relevant trends and patterns pertaining to the nature and extent of businesses and the workforce in the digital tech industry, within and between different regions of the UK.

Findings uncovered the digital tech industry is not just the sole preserve of larger metropolitan cities. Areas, such as Guildford, Aldershot, Slough and Heathrow have significantly higher digital tech density and the highest levels of employment and tech turnover. Additionally, digital tech hotspots have high productivity. Digital tech turnover by employee ranges from £27,650 in Campbelltown to £320,000 in Bristol. The UK's strength as a tech nation rests in acknowledging and valuing this diversity of economic activity. Lastly, digital jobs are on the rise. Between 2014 and 2017 employment in the digital tech sector increased by 13.2%. Workers in digital tech are also more productive than those in non-digital sectors, by an average of £10,000 per person per annum. 

The findings were widely distributed to policymakers across several government departments where they provided a focus for policy debate and a process of review and feedback. The report reached the attention of then Prime Minister Theresa May as evidence for the contribution of the digital tech sector to the UK economy. 

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