London and the south east are generating 62% of IT jobs in the UK, despite only accounting for just over a quarter of the population, a new report has claimed.
The capital itself played a large part in this, creating nearly four in 10 of the country’s IT jobs.
But with London and the South East pre-eminent, in the last year other regions have suffered from relatively low growth in IT jobs, according to ReThink Recruitment, whose research was based on the number of job advertisements placed.
In the East Midlands, only 3% of new IT positions were created, despite the region accounting for 7% of the UK's population. And the North East only created 1.5% of jobs, Wales only 1.2%, and Northern Ireland less than 1%.
Michael Bennett, director at ReThink Recruitment, said the concentration of IT jobs in London and the South East reflected financial services and central government being concentrated there.
“Growth in back office IT roles, which are often based in the [other] regions, is lagging behind because of offshore competition,” he added.
But he claimed these other regions were becoming more competitive “as wage inflation in offshore centres bites”.
Among the regions that have registered growth were the North West, the South West and East Anglia.
The North West created 8.2% of the UK's IT jobs, compared to 6.6% last year, the South West created 7.5% compared with 5.3% last year, and East Anglia marginally increased its job creation from 3.1% to 3.4%.
Bennett claimed that large cities such as Manchester would start to make “significant inroads” into the IT jobs market, as financial services businesses expanded there, local government spent on IT consultants, and technology companies looked to operate at lower costs by placing themselves outside London and the South East.
But other industry bodies have highlighted concerns about the supply of IT staff rather than job creation. Commentators warned recently that part time jobs in IT were on the wane, as employers sought to ensure crucial IT staff were available.
And earlier this week the Confederation of British Industry urged the government to lauch £1,000-a-year bursaries to science and engineering graduates to ensure that the UK was producing enough technology experts to meet demand.