Tech sector jobs helping UK economy through the pandemic

London skyline at sunset

The UK's technology industry is helping the jobs market through the pandemic with vacancies rising by more than a third over the summer.

After healthcare, the technology sector posting the highest number of vacancies, with advertised roles jumping 36% since June, according to data collected by Tech Nation.

During the first three months of 2020, UK businesses placed more than 150,000 jobs listing a week, but those figures rapidly decreased as the economy was hit by the lockdown. However, increasing investment in software and IT systems have seen those vacancies rise again with an average of 90,000 per week.

"With digital adoption accelerating in every area of our lives, it looks likely that the tech sector will continue to be one of the best sources of new jobs this year and can provide the jobs of the future, right across the country," said Tech Nation chief executive Gerard Grech.

The UK's tech sector is one of London's biggest employers with more than a fifth of the capital's workforce employed in digital roles. Nationally this has increased by 40% over the past two years with the sector accounting for 9% of the UK's total workforce, employing some 2.93 million.

There is also evidence that tech companies are starting to recruit for non-STEM roles and there has been a rise in advertising for non-technical roles. Amazon recently announced 10,000 new permanent technical and non-technical roles in the UK in addition to 20,000 seasonal roles.

Despite the spread of the coronavirus shutting down most of the economy throughout 2020, the UK's tech sector has proved to be resilient, retaining its status as one of the strongest in Europe.

There has been plenty of investment, with 27 startups, mostly London based, raising over $80 million since January, according to Tech Nation. The UK is now home to 82 unicorns, the most in Europe and only second to the US and China in the world.

"We were well placed to get through the pandemic thanks to digital technology," said digital minister Caroline Dinenage. "We now want to build on the UK's strengths in cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing and encourage people to turn ideas into new businesses and jobs, while supporting businesses to embrace the benefits new technologies bring."

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.