Growth in London’s digital technology sector will contribute £12 billion of economic activity and 46,000 jobs over the next decade as the wider economy benefits from the sector.
A forecast given by Oxford Economics for London [OEL] showed the sector growing by 5.1 per cent each year until 2024 with changes to immigration law allowing technology companies to cherry pick the best talent.
The proposed changes permit technology companies to take on migrants on “exceptional talent” visas and a spokesperson for London & Partners, the OEL’s promotional organisation, couldn’t confirm whether the forecast was conditional on the changes, according to Reuters.
A separate forecast, from South Mountain Economics, stated that the broader technology and information sector in the capital city employed 382,000 workers in 2013 – an uplift of 11 per cent in the period since 2009. It added that businesses of that nature located in the city, southeast, and east England are “growing faster than in California”.
London’s main lead is in the financial technology [fintech] sector that sees it employing more workers than New York City and San Francisco-Silicon Valley. It estimates there is 44,000 fintech workers in a 25 mile radius of London compared to 43,000 in New York City and just 11,000 in San Francisco-Silicon Valley.
Technology growth in London has been driven, in part, by the Tech City cluster of companies in Shoreditch with 15,000 new startups in the year to July 2013 and the number continuing to grow in the time since then.
It isn’t just London either as there are a number of businesses that have set up shop around other cities such as Cambridge and Oxford thanks to high rents and costs putting some firms off locating to the UK capital.