As Strategy Manager at Digital Jersey, data is key in shaping our initiatives and decisions. So, the recent labour market figures for the digital industries published by Statistics Jersey provide a great source of data on which to make meaningful and well-informed decisions to support the sector moving forward. Here are my top three observations:
For many years, the number of people working in the digital sector has been hard to quantify because it was narrowly measured as ‘Computer & Related Activity’ accounting for just 1% of the Island’s workforce, and only 800 jobs. Statistics Jersey has recognised the growing contribution made by digital industries locally and has now re-categorised the sector as ‘Information & Communication’.
The once 800 roles, has now increased to 1,840, which is more than the number employed in both agriculture and fisheries combined. Further to this, the ‘Technology, Media & Telecommunications’ sector boasts employment of 2,440 jobs, which has grown by 330 staff over the past 5 years. It’s also worth noting that these figures only measure employment in identified digital businesses, not digital roles in non-digital businesses. 50% of those working in digital jobs are employed in non-digital businesses, like banks suggesting there’s still many more people working in digital. Similarly, if we look at the occupational data from LinkedIn, more than 3,000 locals are employed in either digital businesses or have a digital role, again highlighting a substantial number of people working in digital.
It’s not just about the number employed in the sector, it’s also about the growth. In 2018 the Information & Communications sector saw the biggest percentage increase in employment of all sectors, growing by 5% compared to 2% in the finance industry.
If we look at the growth in the ‘Information & Communications’ sector over a five-year period, employment increased by 15% which is considerable when compared with financial services, which increased by 8% and when the overall workforce increased by 9%
Growth in the digital industries has been driven by high-value, high-skill employment in Telecoms, Computer Consultancy and Digital Agencies, accounting for 300 job creations. A further 80 plus jobs has been created in film production and software publishing/consultancy. In contrast, there’s been 80 job losses in print media, and near stagnation in other media employment such as Radio and TV.
Although, it’s sometimes challenging for us at Digital Jersey to quantify the direct impact of our work in the industry, we have evidence through the success of our projects and initiatives that we certainly play a large part in the sectors growth. In the last five years, we have seen around 400 people graduate from Digital Jersey courses, we have endorsed 80 plus work permissions, and have supported over 20 business and more than 40 entrepreneurs relocate to the Island – so with these findings in mind, it’s nice to see our work help the sectors growth overall.