IT firms’ total soars as UK clicks as a tech hub

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Britain’s app economy and London’s booming Silicon Roundabout have led to a surge of 37,000 in the number of UK IT companies in the past two years.

The UK’s strengthening position as a major tech hub means there are now more than 300,000 businesses operating in the information sector – a 14 per cent rise on the same time two years ago.

That’s much higher than the all-industry average of 8 per cent growth in the number of enterprises in the same period, according to accountancy group NoPalaver. About a fifth of the hiring IT companies are small businesses with fewer than 50 employees while the majority – almost 80 per cent – are sole contractors.

“New media entrepreneurs are riding the next wave of technological innovation to establish a raft of high-growth start-up IT businesses clustering around tech hubs,” said Graham Jenner, a director at NoPalaver.

“In addition to these new seed companies creating new jobs in the industry, we are also seeing huge numbers of IT professionals striking out on their own as contractors supplying these new media companies with bolt-on expertise and access to flexible skills.”

The number of people out of work fell by 48,000 to 2.47 million in the three months to September, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The unemployment rate of the economically active population fell to 7.6 per cent, its lowest rate in more than three years.