Employment in the ICT sector, 2010


Observations for policy

A large amount of ICT professionals will be required in the coming years. Despite that, there is a shortage in this respect in the EU. In order to improve global competitiveness the ICT sector should be strengthened beyond large metropolitan areas. Therefore, new regional growth poles on ICT should be adopted to boost harmonious territorial development across Europe.

Policy context

Europe 2020 is the growth strategy of the European Union (EU). The focus is on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. These three mutually reinforcing priorities shall help to deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. At EU level, and within each Member State, concrete objectives, targets, and flagship initiatives have been defined to boost growth and jobs.

One of the seven flagship initiatives under Europe 2020 strategy is the Digital Agenda for Europe which is aimed at rebooting Europe’s economy and help its citizens and businesses to get the most out of digital technologies.

Information and communications technology sector is responsible for 5 per cent of the European GDP and arguably this constitutes a critical factor for future growth.

Map interpretation

In order to evaluate ICT implementation it is important to take into account the number of ICT professionals and practitioners. This indicator allows to detect the size of a high value-added activity, but also to estimate the significance of ICT within and across geographical entities.

The map shows that the regional distribution of ICT employment is rather imbalanced. In general, an urban-rural division is very prominent. Also, the concentration of ICT is more striking in innovative areas, but also in agglomeration economies that have the capacity to create cumulative effects. Most capital regions as well as some other international metropolitan areas display high shares of employment in this sector.

In contrast to these areas, a wide range of rural areas, for instance, in Turkey Greece or Croatia have hardly any employment in the ICT sector. The same applies to some regions in Western Europe.

Concepts and methods

The indicator shows the share of employees of total employment working in information and communication services, as indicated in the NACE classification of economic activities.