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4 facts about manufacturing in the UK

ONS analyses jobs, turnover, exports and research and development (R&D) spending in the UK manufacturing sector


1. In 1978, 25% of UK jobs were in the manufacturing sector. By 2014, only 8% of jobs were in manufacturing.

Even though the percentage of jobs in manufacturing has fallen substantially since 1978, labour productivity (measured by output per job) has been rising.


2. The North West contributed the most to UK manufacturing turnover in 2012: 14.1%.

While all areas contributed to total UK manufacturing turnover, the North West contributed the most. This may be explained by their strong manufacturing sector across a range of industries, such as the manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers, chemicals and electrical equipment.


3. The United States imported £32 billion of UK manufactured goods in 2013, more than any other country.

The United States purchased £40 billion of UK goods in 2013. Manufactured goods comprised 80.7% of this total.


4. 72% of total UK business R&D spending was on manufacturing activity in 2012, compared to 25% on services activity.

Businesses spent £12.2 billion on manufacturing R&D in the UK in 2012. Spending in the chemicals product group was the largest at £4.8 billion, 39% of the total.

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Categories: Business and Energy, Production Industries, Manufacturing
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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