Tech hiring and business activity outstripping wider UK economy

Oliver Smith
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HIRING in the technology industry is close to its strongest for over three years and remains stronger than the UK private sector average, according to the latest industry report from KPMG and Markit.

Hiring intentions for the sector rose to 56, according to Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the first quarter of 2014, above the a score of 53.7 during the same period for the private sector as a whole. Any figure above 50 shows growth.

“The latest survey suggests that the tech sector again outperformed the UK economy in terms of job creation, reflecting widespread optimism that workloads will continue to expand over the months ahead,” said Markit economist Tim Moore.

Almost half of the firms surveyed said they plan on hiring additional staff over the next 12 months.

Business activity in the tech sector remains high with Markit’s index measuring activity at 60 at the end of the first quarter, down from 60.9 in the fourth quarter 2013, but still close to the peak growth rates seen prior to the global financial crisis in 2008.

Technology also maintained its lead in levels of new business, with Markit’s index measuring 60.7 for the sector ahead of the private sector as a whole at 58.2.

“Recent falls in share prices of technology stocks have led some to question the health of the tech sector but all the data in this report point to a UK tech sector that is in rude health, and increasingly optimistic in its outlook on business activity and recruitment plans,” said KPMG’s Tudor Aw. “Our data also shows the positive impact the sector has on the UK’s economic performance as a whole and the important role UK tech companies up and down the country play in the burgeoning recovery.”

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