UNION

Almost 500,000 UK manufacturing jobs lost in 10 years

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06 Jun 2019
Press Office

Press Office

The UK has lost almost 500,000 manufacturing jobs in just 10 years, a new investigation by GMB has shown.

The shocking statistics are being released ahead of GMB’s Annual Congress, which begins in Brighton on Sunday [June 9, 2019].

They show that 476,500 jobs in the sector disappeared between 2008 and 2018, a massive fall of 14%. [1]
In 2008, the UK supported 3.4 million permanent and temporary manufacturing jobs – which accounted for more than 11% of all employment.

By 2018, that had slumped to just 2.9 million, or 9% of the total.

Manufacturing jobs by region 2008 and 2018 (January to December)

Nation/Region

2008

2018

Change (number of jobs)

Change (percentage)

North East

153,900

129,500

-24,400

-15.9%

North West

438,300

344,900

-93,400

-21.3%

Yorkshire and The Humber

330,800

286,800

-44,000

-13.3%

East Midlands

336,300

290,800

-45,500

-13.5%

West Midlands

374,300

342,000

-32,300

-8.6%

East

307,700

273,400

-34,300

-11.1%

London

212,900

141,500

-71,400

-33.5%

South East

410,500

373,200

-37,300

-9.1%

South West

282,300

258,100

-24,200

-8.6%

Wales

168,000

155,000

-13,000

-7.7%

Scotland

257,400

204,900

-52,500

-20.4%

Northern Ireland

87,100

82,900

-4,200

-4.8%

UK

3,359,500

2,883,000

-476,500

-14.2%

Every region in the UK has experienced a decline in manufacturing employment.

Three badly affected regions – London, Scotland and the North West – have lost 34%, 21% and 20% of their manufacturing jobs respectively.

The worst affected region by total job losses – the North West - lost 93,400 manufacturing jobs.

The GMB’s Making It campaign is calling on the Government to invest in manufacturing and protect manufacturing jobs during Brexit.

 


 

Jude Brimble, GMB National Secretary, said:

“Half a million manufacturing job losses in just ten years have been devastating for communities and unless action is taken, it looks like the worst could still be to come.

“Unfortunately, this Government has a track record of failing to support UK manufacturing.

“Famous old ceramics firms in the potteries, Appledore shipyard, large swathes of our steel industry, jobs at the Ford plant at Bridgend - all have fallen by the wayside yet the Conservative Party is prepared to risk thousands more job losses through a chaotic hard Brexit.

“It begs the question; how does this add up to May's commitments that ‘the UK's post-Brexit arrangements must protect people's jobs and security’?

“This is why GMB Union’s Making It campaign calls for a rethink on Government procurement and renewed investment in skills and jobs across manufacturing
 

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