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New Research Reveals How The Internet Adds £45bn To GDP, 400,000 Jobs To UK Economy

London, UK – The Internet is an economic powerhouse that is driving the UK economy through jobs, businesses and output, new Internet Association analysis reveals today.

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.

Those contributions place the internet sector among the most important components of the UK economy. It provides nearly the same number of businesses to the UK as the Human health and social work activities sector. It contributes twice as much to UK value added as the Arts, entertainment and recreation sector. And it provides more than three times the combined number of jobs as Mining and Agriculture put together.

The new research also reveals that growth in the UK internet sector has outpaced the overall economy. Between 2012 and 2016:

  • The number of internet industry businesses grew by 6.6% per year, compared to a national average of 2.9%.
  • The internet sector contribution to Value Added grew by 4.2% per year, over double the 2.0% average national growth rate.
  • Internet sector employment grew by 2.6% per year, compared to 1.7% for all industries nationally.

UK Executive Director Daniel Dyball said: “Our new research shows how the internet creates real, meaningful value for the UK economy. The positive figures and tangible benefits are only set to grow as technology continues to develop, but the Government must ensure the UK has the right policies to allow the internet to thrive.”

The release of this new economic report comes as recent figures have highlighted how investment into the UK’s digital sector remains strong  and is defying the uncertainty in the economy over Brexit.

Britain will be home to 25% of the billion pound companies being created in Europe over the next few years, according to technology investor and consultancy GP Bullhound. London is also producing more unicorn businesses than any other European city, with 17 companies surpassing the £1 billion valuation mark since 2010, over double the amount of other major tech hubs such as Berlin (seven) and Paris (four). And the increasing number of high-growth businesses coming out of London has boosted the UK to the top of the European unicorn league tables, with the UK currently housing nearly one third of the 64 total unicorn businesses across Europe.

To read the full report, click here.