IT pros in the North East are now the highest paid outside London
Pay for IT professionals in the North of England is growing four times faster than pay in the South, according to an analysis by Brookson, a provider of accountancy services.
IT professionals in the North of England (North West, Yorks & Humber and the North East) now earn on average just 12 percent less than their Southern counterparts, compared to 17 percent in 2009.
Median pay for IT professionals in the North jumped by 4 percent over the past year, from £35,827 to £37,256, while pay in the South contracted by 0.3 percent, from £42,356 to £42,205.
Since the first full year of recession in 2009 pay for IT professionals in the North has risen by 13.1 percent, from £32,941 to £37,256, compared to 6.7 percent for IT professionals in the South (South West, South East, London and East of England), from £39,552 to £42,205.
Brookson says that pay for IT professionals in London and the South East tends to be heavily reliant on the health of the financial services sector, which was pegged back following the financial crisis as pay freezes were implemented, business volumes fell and banks re-structured.
Martin Hesketh, managing director of Brookson, said: “The dominance of the financial services sector in London and the South East, which took a battering during the crisis, has had a knock-on effect on pay for IT professionals.
“A large proportion of IT professionals in London and the surrounding counties are either directly engaged by banks, or work in consultancies whose customers are in the financial sector.”
He added: “While the tech sector in London has boomed, including fintech, pay for IT professionals in these start-ups tends to be significantly lower than large corporates, and a large component of total compensation consists of share options rather than cash.”
On the digital economy, although London dominates, regional cities such as Newcastle and Sunderland in the North East, and Cardiff and Swansea in South Wales, have emerged as regional tech clusters, pushing up demand for IT skills, said Hesketh.
Pay for IT professionals based in the North East has risen fastest over the past year, by 6.4 percent, from £35,504 to £37,767, which is over nine times faster than London, where pay rose by just 0.7 percent, from £46,613 to £46,939.
IT professionals in the North East are now the highest paid in England outside London and the South East. In 2009, IT workers in the North East were the lowest paid in the country.