South East: Research reveals impact of internet economy

The internet is an economic powerhouse that is driving the economy in the South East through jobs, businesses and output, new Internet Association analysis reveals.

The new research by Internet Association highlights the value the internet brings right across the UK economy. Nationally, the internet economy contributes approximately 400,000 jobs, 80,000 businesses, and £45 billion in Gross Value Added to the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These equate to about 1.2% of UK jobs, 3.1% of UK enterprises, and 2.3% of UK GDP.

The new research also gives, for the first time, a view of how important the internet economy is to the South East. IA, using a proprietary measurement approach, finds that the estimated number of internet sector jobs in this region is 76,000, the estimated number of internet sector businesses is 15,900 and the estimated value-added generated from the internet sector is £8.7b.

The findings showed:

  • In the South East, the constituency with the highest number of internet sector jobs is Newbury which has approximately 4,000 internet sector related jobs.
  • The constituency with the largest number of internet sector related businesses in the South East is Eastleigh (650 businesses).
  • The constituency with the highest concentration of internet sector businesses in this region is also Eastleigh, where 10.5% of all local businesses are internet sector businesses. Wokingham and Milton Keynes South have the second and third highest shares of internet sector businesses, with 7.9% and 7.3%, respectively.
  • The largest contributor to value-added in the South East is Newbury, with £203 million in value-added contributions. The second highest contributor is Wokingham with £189m and third is Slough with £188m.

UK executive director Daniel Dyball said: “These figures highlight the true value of the internet sector to communities in the South East. From Dover to Bracknell, the internet is a major economic engine in the region.”

The findings of the report also showed:

  • The internet sector provides nearly 400,000 jobs across the UK
    • The average number of internet sector jobs per constituency is 590
    • The median number of internet sector jobs across constituencies is 330
  • The internet sector provides approximately 80,000 businesses in the UK
    • The average number of internet sector businesses per constituency is 120
    • The median number of internet sector businesses across constituencies is 80
  • The internet sector contributes approximately £45 billion in value-added, the equivalent of 2.3% of GDP
    • The average value-added generated from the internet sector per constituency is £69m
    • The median value-added generated from the internet sector across constituencies is £50m

Dyball continued: “The positive figures and tangible benefits are only set to grow as technology develops, but the Government must ensure the UK has the right policies to allow the internet to thrive. We are keen to work with the new Government to make the UK one of the best internet economies in the world.”