Digital technology sector ‘much bigger’ than previously thought

July 22, 2013

n a new report, the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has identified almost 270,000 digital technology firms in the UK, compared to the government’s estimate of 187,600.

Researchers also found that these companies are growing 25% faster than firms in other sectors.

The government uses the official Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) to identify digital and technology businesses. However, the NIESR said this model ‘is outdated’ because it fails to include many types of digital firms.

‘Policymakers have identified the digital economy as one of the UK’s key economic strengths,’ commented Max Nathan, senior research fellow at NIESR. ‘That means they need to be aware of the true numbers of digital businesses around the country.’

He continued: ‘The old image of tech businesses as start-ups that make no money is out of date too: using big data we show a broad array of active businesses selling digital products and services.’

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said the NIESR had produced an ‘interesting alternative report’

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