UK tech sector recruitment overcomes General Election uncertainty
A great number of industries are affected by the run-up to and the aftermath of a general election, particularly recruitment. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the potential shake-ups and upsets in Westminster, the IT and tech industry has managed to buck the trend seen in the public sector in particular and actually experienced a boom in recruitment growth.
According to the latest Tech Monitor survey by KPMG, hiring in the IT and tech sector rose at a pace not seen since 2003 when the survey was first carried out. Sales in this sector seemed to be stagnant in the lead-up to the General Election 2015, with growth slowing in the first quarter of the year compared to previous quarters in 2014.
However, there is excellent news for IT recruiters and candidates looking for tech jobs, as the PMI Employment Index moved from 55.3 to 57.8 in Q1 2015. In the previous years where it has risen, changes have never been this pronounced, and it offsets three previous ‘fall’ years (2003, 2008 and 2009) when the Index dipped below 50. In more tangible terms, the Tech Monitor survey found that:
- The UK tech sector now accounts for over one million jobs
- It’s job creation rate is approximately three times that of the wider UK economy
- Pace of jobs growth in this area is between 7% and 8%
- The sector has expanded by 25% since a dip in growth back in 2010
Looking ahead to the rest of 2015, the immediate future seems rosy for those in the tech sector. 55% of tech companies are anticipating a growth in business, while only 7% expect a decrease.
What does this mean for IT and technology recruiters and job hunters?
To put it simply, the tech sector is outperforming the wider UK economy – a claim backed up by 12 years of positive performance – and showing what KPMG’s head of tech Tudor Aw describes as a “resilience” that other industries lack. Elaborating, Aw also said:
“Importantly, it [the UK tech sector] has delivered ‘lower lows and higher highs’ during periods of turbulence, along with faster recovery periods. Allied with its job creation record, it has presented a compelling case for focus and support from political parties – something I would like to hear more of in their respective election manifestos.”
Tech ‘fundamental to all businesses’
Aw also makes the point that despite tech being incredibly important to all businesses and indeed, the public sector, one thing that was noticeably absent from the political debate was the issue of job creation and the tech sector’s positive effect on it. However, the continued growth of the industry, and its hiring power, depends on the health of the UK economy and its ability to invest in the sector, so it really should have been one of the main talking points of the General Election.