London reign as UK tech capital threatened by workers itchy feet

11% of jobs advertised in London are in tech - the same as in San Francisco

The success of London’s technology sector could be stopped in its tracks by the restlessness of its tech workforce, according to new research by the world’s largest job site Indeed.

The analysis of millions of job adverts – and job searches by candidates – revealed the sheer size of London’s tech sector puts it in a class of its own.

10.8% of all jobs advertised in the capital are in tech, virtually the same as the 10.9% as in the world’s best-known tech city, San Francisco.

London-based employers account for just over a fifth (21.6%) of all UK job adverts listed on Indeed, yet the capital accounts for nearly a third (30.6%) of the nation’s tech job listings, far more than any other region.

Table: London’s technology sector accounts for nearly a third of all British tech jobs

Yet London’s outsized tech sector could be tripped up by the itchy feet of its skilled workers. Indeed’s researchers found London-based tech professionals are far more likely to look for work outside their home region than workers from elsewhere in the country.

In fact, London-based tech sector candidates are nearly twice as likely as the average Londoner to be searching for a job in Scotland, with North West England having a similar draw for tech professionals keen to escape the capital.

Job rolesTime stayedAverage salary
Enterprise Architect 7 years and 6 months£80,669
Machine Operator
5 years and 8 months £23,576
Shift Manager
4 years and 4 months £27,999
Team Leader and Director 3 years and 9 months £21,396, £45,405
Coach3 years and 7 months £36,118
Cashier and Shop Manager
3 years and 6 months £23,610, £25,253
Social Care Worker
3 years and 4 months £29,804
Cleaner Casual and Chief Executive Officer
3 years and 3 months £16,247, £42,673
Office Manager3 years and 2 months £33,025
Chief Marketing Officer 3 years and 1 month £46,712

Table: How much more likely a London-based tech worker is to be looking for work outside the capital than the average Londoner

London’s high cost of living is the most likely culprit for the willingness of its tech workers to consider jobs elsewhere. Official ONS data showed the average London property cost £484,000 in September, more than double the UK average of £226,000.

Mariano Mamertino, EMEA economist at global job site, Indeed, commented:

“London still boasts nearly a third of the nation’s available tech jobs, meaning the capital’s dominance of the UK tech sector is under no immediate threat.

“Yet booming regional tech hubs like Cambridge – which this month saw the opening of a major new Amazon development centre – are catching up fast. Our research suggests their success, coupled with the regions’ lower living costs, could tempt ever more London-based tech workers to look beyond the M25 for their next role.

“While London’s tech hub crown is not yet up for grabs, such an exodus could make it harder for the capital’s tech employers to find the skilled people they need to grow further.”

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