Digital Businesses Generating Jobs and Fuelling Growth

Unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in more than 40 years, and the new digital economy has played its part in helping to make it happen.

The economy might still be resting on a knife edge thanks to events on the international stage and continuing Brexit uncertainty, but one aspect of it is looking healthier than it has in a generation. The Office of National Statistics reported that unemployment dropped over the three months to June 2018 by 3,000 to just 1.44 million nationally, representing an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent.

This is the lowest it has been since the early 1970s. However, looking locally, the statistics are even more dramatic. In the East Anglia region, the number of unemployed fell by a staggering 20 percent to 102,000. The increase in companies offering online services and digital marketing in Essex has certainly played its role here, in both generating jobs directly and helping other businesses achieve sustained growth in what are still challenging economic times.

Record number of jobs

It’s the equation everyone wants to hear. Over the second quarter of 2018, as well as seeing the lowest unemployment statistics since The Osmonds were dominating the UK charts, there were a record 829,000 jobs available. That’s over 50,000 more than the same period in 2017. Cynics would be quick to point to the phenomenon of zero hours contracts and suggest that they are skewing the figures, but the converse is actually the case, and the ONS reported a “substantial fall” in people working under these terms.

Achieving growth in the digital age

The fact that the South East is leading the way provides the first clue in understanding where this improvement in the job market is coming from. Essex, in particular, has seen a dramatic rise in startup businesses. Many of these are in the marketing and digital support services space, and their impact is twofold. For one thing they, in themselves, are providing jobs in areas that had not even been invented a decade or two ago, such as SEO consultancy, mobile optimisation and social media marketing. For another, they are helping to drive growth in other businesses across every sector imaginable.

The impact of digital marketing services on small businesses

Everyone knows that today’s businesses look very different to those of the late 20 th century. But it is not until you really dig into modern business dynamics that you begin to understand just how different. Here are some examples:

1) Social media marketing – a third of the planet is on social media, and 70 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchasing decision on the basis of a social media referral. Social media marketing is more than just a “nice to have,” it is absolutely vital.

2) Search engine optimisation – whatever consumers need, the first place they will look for it is on a search engine. Getting a business higher up the rankings has a direct impact on sales and growth.

3) Tailored approach – consumers are more savvy than ever, and modern marketers know how to tailor every aspect of a campaign to press all the right buttons.

Not out of the woods

The news from the ONS is positive, but there are plenty of challenges ahead. Events in the US, Turkey, China and elsewhere all have an impact on the UK economy, and
there are still more questions than answers where Brexit is concerned. Still, it is good to know that businesses in the UK and the south east in particular seem geared up to face any challenge head on.

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