Business Technology

Tech sector is the most “recession-proof” industry in Britain

4 min read

09 February 2016

Former deputy editor

Technology has been the safest industry to work in since 2002, with professionals in the sector possessing the most “recession-proof” jobs, a study has found.

The data from IT recruiter Randstad Technologies revealed that the tech market’s total wage bill has grown by 82 per cent between 2002 and 2014, rising from £17bn to £32bn.

According to the findings, IT jobs account for five per cent of the total wage bill for all full-time workers in Britain as the number of posts rose by 400,000 over the 12-year period.

The tech industry has been steadfast due to increasing demand for software and services across the country, it was highlighted, while Oxford Economics believes the number of tech firms in the country will grow by 51,500 by 2025.

This much was demonstrated in January when it was found the UK tech sector won a record $3.6bn worth of venture capital funding in 2015, a feat hailed by London mayor Boris Johnson.

“With a flourishing tech scene and one of the world’s leading financial centres, it is no surprise to see that London’s tech companies are attracting record levels of investment,” he said.

“Our world-class talent pool and our culture of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are helping the sector to grow from strength to strength. We can expect the capital’s tech sector to continue to generate jobs and growth for the city’s economy for many years to come.”

The top five of recession-proof jobs was rounded off by social workers, nurses, transport professionals and teaching professionals.

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Elsewhere, Randstad found that travel agencies provide the least recession-proof positions. The total wage bill fell by 56 per cent between 2002 an 2014, declining from £946m to £420m, as the number of travel agents almost halved.

Interestingly, this was a result of the recession itself and also, ironically, the rise of tech which saw many holiday and travel services launch online.

Ruth Jacobs, MD of Randstad Technologies, said: “The increasing demand for tech has been the umbrella which sheltered the sector from the storm of the recession. But this rapid expansion means there is tough competition for Tech talent as employers want to find the right people for the right jobs.

“The demand for people will advanced IT skills will only grow in the future, as Britain will need 2.2m digitally skilled workers by 2020 to match the sector’s potential. This means that if you are qualified for software developer jobs, data analyst jobs or network engineer jobs, it will be easier to find work, with almost no chance of being laid off long periods of time.”

Using tech as something of a recipe for success, Dragons’ Den star Levi Roots has opened a restaurant called Caribbean Smokehouse, which comes with a mobile service that lets diners pay at the table with their smartphones – rather than wait ages for absent staff to bring out the bill.

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