Top 10 Industries

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Information & communication, and professional, scientific & technical activities

This is a growing and increasingly diverse sector. In addition to IT, the information and communication sector includes publishing, programming, broadcasting and telecommunications.

Additionally, the professional, scientific and technical activities sector includes law, accountancy, engineering, scientific research and development, advertising and market research businesses.

Key insights

The number of firms in this sector has grown by 46% since 2010.

IT companies are experiencing exceptionally strong growth as organisations look to ensure their operations meet the demands of the modern digital world.

Information and communication infograph

Similarly, businesses falling under the professional, scientific and technical activities sector are, generally speaking, seeing success, if for different reasons.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the professional, scientific and technical activities industry is a “microcosm of London’s overall economy”.

The economic success of this sector mirrors that of the city itself with the growth in jobs in this sector leading London’s overall job growth.

While the legal sector, in particular, might have contracted during the recession, all the indications are that it’s currently prospering once again after recording growth of 8% between 2014 and 2015.

But it’s those professions with digital skills at their heart that appear to be doing best of all. According to a report published by the British Government in 2017, digital sectors contributed £118bn to the economy in 2015, representing more than 7% of Britain’s gross value added (GVA).

What does the future hold?

In the year to March 2017, visa applications from people outside the European Union wanting to come to work in the UK's professional, scientific and technical activities industry saw the biggest fall of any sector. The industry may need to look at a way to address this slowing in the supply of skilled workers in the years to come if it is to continue to progress at the same rate.

For further information on the sourced references for the Business Trends data, outside of the Business Population Estimates 2017 and Nomis official labour market statistics 2010 and 2017, please download the information here (PDF, 240MB)