It has been the most lucrative quarter on record for consultants operating in the digital sector, according to new data.
Research from online business marketplace PeoplePerHour.com saw the first three months of 2011 saw a jump of more than 200 percent in earnings for individuals selling digital skills through the site.
The jobs with the most earning potential included web design and programming (up 178 percent from this time last year), app development (up 98 percent), ecommerce (up 216 percent) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (up 139 percent).
In another sign that the sector is recovering from the recession, PeoplePerHour.com also revealed that the number of digital consultants winning work was up by 320 percent in the first three months of 2011 compared with the first three months of 2010.
However, there were wide regional variations, with Bristol and the South West seeing the greatest increase in the sector’s earning potential, with a staggering rise of 880 percent in earnings in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same time last year.
Manchester and the North West were second with a jump of 329 percent, while London and the South East were fifth with a jump of 87 percent.
According to PeoplePerHour.com founder and CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou these latest figures provide the strongest evidence yet that the UK economy is gathering steam.
“The IT sector is one of the key engines of growth for the economy and is integral to the UK’s prosperity,” says Thrasyvoulou. “IT ranks alongside accountancy and law as key elements of the ‘knowledge-based’ business services in the UK, accounting for more than a fifth of the UK’s economic output and more than 11 percent of employment.
“The IT sector isn’t just supporting the growth of other traditional sectors of the economy, but it is increasingly underpinning and supporting technological innovation, which is essential if the UK is to sustain growth in the long-term.
“The figures today show that not only are digital industry contractors winning more work than before, but companies are also willing to pay more for their services, which is a real sign that profits and confidence are back,” said Thrasyvoulou.