Internet economy provides 400,000 UK jobs

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The internet is an economic powerhouse that is driving the whole UK economy through jobs, businesses and output, new research from the Internet Association analysis reveals.

The new research from Internet Association highlights the value the internet brings right across the UK. The internet economy contributes approximately 400,000 jobs, 80,000 businesses, and £45 billion in Gross Value Added to the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These equate to about 1.2 percent of UK jobs, 3.1 percent of UK enterprises, and 2.3 percent of UK GDP.

The new research also gives, for the first time, a view of how important the internet economy is to every region and constituency in the UK. IA provides unique estimates for every constituency in the UK based on a proprietary measurement approach. The median number of internet sector jobs per constituency is 330, the median number of internet sector businesses per constituency is 80, and the median value-added generated from the internet sector per constituency is £50 million.

Speaking about the new figures, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nicky Morgan said: “These great new numbers demonstrate the strength of our tech industry and confirm the UK’s reputation as one of the world’s leading digital economies.

The findings showed:

  • The internet sector provided nearly 400,000 jobs to the UK economy as of 2016. The constituency with the highest number of internet sector jobs is Cities of London and Westminster, which has approximately 23,000 jobs (or approximately 6 percent of all internet sector jobs in the UK). 

  • The internet sector contributed nearly 80,000 UK businesses in 2016. The largest number of these – 1,800 – reside in the Manchester Central constituency. 

  • The constituency with the highest concentration of internet sector businesses is Pontypridd, where 13.4 percent of local businesses are internet sector businesses. Manchester Central and Eastleigh have the second and third highest shares of internet sector businesses with 10.9 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.

  • The largest contributor of Gross Value Added to GDP is the Cities of London and Westminster with over £900 million in value-added contributions. That is more than twice the size of the constituency with the second largest value-added contribution – Manchester Central with £420 million.

UK Executive Director Daniel Dyball said: “These figures highlight the true value of the internet sector to communities across all corners of the UK. Whether it’s a few dozen jobs in Rhondda or thousands in London, Manchester, Leeds and beyond, the internet is helping drive the UK economy.”

Dyball continued: “The positive figures and tangible benefits are only set to grow as technology develops, but the Government must ensure the UK has the right policies to allow the internet to thrive. We are keen to work with the new Government to make the UK one of the best internet economies in the world.”

Chris Price
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