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The digital economy is +40% bigger than previously thought and recruits, on average, +15% more staff than non-digital businesses, according to a report by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR). The new research measures the business environment of companies by tracking the digital footprints left online.
Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, who commissioned the survey, said: “This is a ground breaking and important report by NIESR, not just because it shows that the spread of the digital economy into other sectors is driving growth and jobs through the UK. But because, for the first time in 65 years, it presents us with a new way of measuring the economy.”
Dr. Max Nathan, senior research fellow at NIESR said: “Policymakers have identified the digital economy as one of the UK’s key economic strengths. That means they need to be aware of the true numbers of digital businesses around the country.”
There are at least 270,000 companies that form the digital economy, far exceeding government estimates. The revenue reported by digital companies is growing +25% faster than that reported by non-digital companies. Companies from traditional sectors are increasingly classified as digital companies; as technology becomes more widely spread and is no longer considered the sole preserve of start-ups and software companies.