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London creating nearly half of IT jobs in the UK, despite representing 13% of the population

Londoncreating nearly half of IT jobs in the UK, despite representing 13% of the population 

Londonnew job creation growing year on year

London is continuing to grow its share of the IT jobs market and now accounts for nearly half (40%)* of all new IT jobs being created in the UK, despite representing just 13% of the overall population, according to research by ReThink Recruitment (ReThink), the business and technology staffing company.

Before the recession in June 2008, London accounted for 34% of all IT jobs created in the UK.

The research suggests that the IT jobs market in London is rebounding from the financial crisis far stronger than the rest of the UK – which accounts for a diminishing share of new IT jobs being created (full results below).

ReThink says that, as well as growth in demand in Financial Services, London is also benefitting from a boom in social networking IT start ups. 

East Londontechnology hub

Michael Bennett, Director at ReThink, says: “London  is quickly emerging as a major  hub for high-tech IT start ups – with several heavy hitters including Cisco and Google recently investing in Shoreditch. In comparison with other high-tech centres, London still offers relatively cheap rents and has consequently attracted very specialised tech firms looking to recruit qualified IT candidates.”

“Venture capital firms – who are key funders for most of these tech start-ups – are increasingly finding that investments in Silicon Valley are often over-priced. With speculative talk of a second dotcom bubble common, many are deciding that Europe and London in particular is a safer place to invest.”

Financial services demand

Michael Bennett, says: “London has a large number of banks and financial services firms headquartered in the city, and many of these responded to the downturn by cutting IT departments. When business volumes increased, so did requirements for qualified IT staff. ”

“Regulatory pressure and greater reporting requirements are also forcing banks and other City firms to strengthen their compliance and risk management IT systems. Many are restructuring their front office IT systems to ensure greater transparency, which could explain this on-going demand.”  

ReThink explains that Solvency II regulations will impose new capital and risk management requirements. These will require insurers to update their internal risk models, databases and reporting systems – all of which will require extensive investment in IT. Solvency II is due to come into force on 31 December 2012.

ReThink adds that the unprecedented wave of mergers between financial institutions brought about by the credit crunch has produced a backlog of work for IT departments, who are under pressure to maximise operational efficiencies.

Public sector cuts

According to ReThink, UK regions outside London and the South East have a heavy reliance on the public sector to create IT jobs, and this could be a major factor in explaining the loss of IT job market share.

Michael Bennett concludes: “Public sector recruitment freezes have really taken hold. IT projects have been abolished, and consequently demand for IT skills has been very subdued.”    

New IT jobs by geographical location

Region

% of GB population

% of new jobs before recession June 08

% of new jobs created June  10

% of new jobs created June  11

London

13.4%

33.8%

39.5%

40.3%

South East

13.5%

23.8%

24.3%

23.9%

North West

11.1%

9.2%

6.9%

5.5%

South West

8.2%

7.2%

6.3%

5.8%

West Midlands

8.7%

6.7%

5.8%

4.3%

Yorkshire

8.5%

5.3%

6.2%

4.1%

East Midlands

7.2%

4.3%

2.6%

2.8%

Scotland

8.5%

3%

2.8%

2.7%

East Anglia

9.2%

4.1%

3.3%

3.6%

North East

4.2%

1.2%

1.2%

0.9%

Wales

4.7%

1%

0.9%

0.9%

Northern Ireland

2.9%

&lt1%

0.3%

0.3%

 *analysis of over 10,000 new IT job vacancies.

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