Oxford’s growing technology sector has helped it move into second place, behind London, in a table of UK cities ranked by total economic output.
According to the Q4 2017 UK Powerhouse report, Oxford’s output was valued at £498m and its economy £8.3bn, a rise of 2.2% in the 12 months to the end of June.
The report was produced by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research and estimates growth and job creation across 45 UK cities.
Oxford is also the fourth fastest growing UK city (by annual Gross Value Added growth), behind Milton Keynes (2.6%), Cambridge (2.4) and Reading (2.4%).
Oxford and Cambridge, which ranked in the top two spots of the World Times Higher Education league tables for 2018, continue to make technological breakthroughs every year. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Oxford’s technology sector has expanded at a faster rate than the national average of 14%, between 2012 and 2015, at 17%. The Centre for Cities found that Cambridge and Oxford place first and second respectively with regards to the share of the working age population with a qualification at NVQ4 or above.
London has by far the largest technology sector. Between Q4 2012 and Q4 2015, London’s technology GVA increased by £1,921 million to £10,619 million (a 22% increase).
Digital technology contributes £97 billion to the economy and provides 1.64 million jobs. The number of UK jobs is estimated to rise by at least 24% over the next decade as digital industries take over as the motor of economic growth in the country. This will present a big challenge in providing the highly skilled people needed to fill these jobs.