IT services dominates UK outsourcing in 2013 but employment flat

IT and digital services contributed more to the UK economy in 2013 than any other part of the business services sector

IT and digital services contributed more to the UK economy in 2013 than any other part of the business services sector, but while turnover has increased by about £6bn over the past four years, no more jobs have been created in that time.

About 340,000 UK workers in the IT services sector generated £48.4bn in UK turnover in 2013, according to a study carried out by Oxford Economics for the Business Services Association.

The research looked at the business services sector, including IT and digital services, in 2013. The same research for 2009 revealed that the sector contributed £41.7bn with the same number of people.

Despite the lack of employment growth from 2009, the figures showed a recovery from 2010, when employment in IT and data-related services fell to 320,000 with £38.7bn in turnover.

The IT and digital services sector was defined as computer programming, consulting and related activities, as well as data processing, hosting and related activities, including web portals.

The overall business services sector was worth £262.9bn.

Of the £48.4bn turnover generated in the UK by IT and digital services in 2013, £46.4bn was for the commercial sector and £2bn the government sector.

Business Services Association CEO Mark Fox said: “We welcome this piece of research highlighting the contribution the business services sector makes to the UK economy, as both a significant employer and provider of key services.”

Spending on IT and business process outsourcing in Europe in 2014 was up by 7% on 2013, reaching $11.9bn, while the global spend reached $23.1bn, according to recent figures from ISG.

Snapshot of contributions to the £262.9bn UK business services sector in 2013
IT and digital services £48.4bn
Engineering-related consultancy and testing £39.5bn
Office and other business support services £15.5bn
Frontline services for local government £32.2bn
Frontline health services £12.2bn
Property repair and maintenance £31.2bn
Telecommunications £26.6bn


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