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London increases its share of the IT jobs market beyond pre-crisis levels says ReThink

London increases its share of the IT jobs market beyond pre-crisis levels says ReThink

? 41.4% of new IT jobs in London

? Most UK regions have lost market share

London has increased its share of the IT jobs market beyond pre-credit crunch levels, leaving many of the UK regions with diminished market share, according to an analysis by ReThink Recruitment, the business and technology staffing company.

London now accounts for 41.4% of all new IT jobs being created, compared to 33.8% in June 2008. To put this in context, London represents just 27% of the total population of the UK.

By contrast, the rest of the South East has lost market share, and now accounts for 22.5% of all new IT jobs, compared to 23.8% in June 2008.

The research by ReThink shows that London is bouncing back strongest from the recession. This is despite financial services, which is one of the heaviest users of IT skills, being concentrated in London (full results below).

According to ReThink, demand for IT skills in some areas of finance has surged while, at the same time, London has emerged as a major global technology hub with companies such as Google expanding in East London.

The area around Old Street, known as Silicon Roundabout, is now reportedly home to around 500 technology businesses and is said to contribute &pound66.4 billion to the UK economy annually.

Michael Bennett, Director at ReThink, comments: “IT departments in the City saw job cuts during the banking crisis but, compared with other business functions, IT has been relatively insulated. Hiring, particularly in insurers and boutique firms, has been quite buoyant since then.”

“The bottom has fallen out of the public sector IT jobs market, but the emergence of London as a tech hub has provided some ballast. This has left some UK regions, which are more dependent on the public sector, struggling to create new technology jobs.”

He adds: “Faced with the choice of working in a bank or a digital start-up, a growing number of talented IT professionals are prepared to sacrifice pay for shares in an East London tech start-up. We’re not back to dotcom levels, but shares have regained some of their lustre.”

Such is the rate of growth, IT businesses are now among the prime movers of the central London office market. IT businesses took up 1.3 million sq ft of space in London in 2011, double the amount previous year.*

ReThink says that many Silicon Roundabout start-ups are struggling to find suitable candidates, which is putting pressure on pay rates.

Michael Bennett says: “Hiring for IT roles in London is as challenging as it’s ever been. There has been a long term decline in the number of candidates with IT qualifications coming onto the market. This has intensified poaching and bidding wars for talent among tech start-ups. The problem start-ups face is that larger organisations can usually outbid them, which means they can find themselves constantly fighting for skills.”


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