By Daniel Hunter

The number of web design and programming jobs in the IT sector has risen by 11% this year as businesses invest increased amounts of resource and capital into the ‘app economy’, according to NoPalaver Group, provider of accounting services to contractors.

The figures show that the number of programmers and software development professionals has increased by 8% in a year, up from 253,000 to 274,000.

The survey found that businesses of all sizes are adapting to developments in technology, with even bricks and mortar businesses, such as small retailers, shifting an increasing amount of activity online and becoming more sophisticated in their use of social media platforms.

NoPalaver said that the UK app industry, centred around Silicon Roundabout in London, has expanded rapidly in the last three years with many of these start-ups graduating to become global players, including King Digital, creators of Candy Crush, who have recently announced quarterly revenues of $496 million, and Mind Candy, makers of Moshi Monsters.

The total number of UK IT workers is at record high of 847,000, up from 839,000 in the same period last year.

During the credit crunch many businesses froze their budgets and investment in IT infrastructure was often viewed as a low priority. However, businesses are now more confident about investing in this area as the economy improves.

Graham Jenner, Director at NoPalaver, said: “The importance of the ‘app economy’ is being fully realised by increasing numbers of businesses eager to recruit the very best IT professionals to ensure they benefit from the app revolution.

“In many cases, businesses will be using a specialist IT agency or provider to meet this need rather than employing an IT professional directly — it is no longer necessary to have a full IT department to enable businesses to interact digitally with customers.

“As the recovery gathers pace, many businesses have unlocked their budgets and are making those IT improvements that were put on hold during the credit crunch.”

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