Almost 600,000 manufacturing jobs lost in decade

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03 Jun 2018
Press Office

Press Office

The UK has lost almost 600,000 manufacturing jobs in the past decade, a new investigation by GMB has shown.

The figures are being discussed at GMB’s Manufacturing Conference in Brighton today [Sunday June 3, 2018]

They show that 599,100 jobs in the sector disappeared between 2007 and 2017, a massive fall of 17%.

Between them the lost jobs have meant that £2.3 billion less has been paid in manufacturing wages in real-terms.

In 2007, the UK supported 3.5 million permanent and temporary manufacturing jobs – more than 12% of the all British employment.

By 2016, that had slumped to just 2.9 million, or 9.2% of the total.

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

Three badly affected regions – London, Scotland and the North West – have lost 27%, 22% and 21% of their manufacturing jobs respectively.

The worst affected region by total job losses – the North West - lost 93,500 manufacturing jobs.

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

We are at a critical crossroads in UK manufacturing. The right support for our manufacturing sector would accelerate growth, address the skills gap and provide much provide a much-needed boost to technology, production and exports.

A robust manufacturing base post-Brexit is vital for the UK economy, workers and local communities. The continuing decline in jobs is a result in this Government's failure to deliver the certainty the industry needs.

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 Gvernment procurement,  investment for skills and jobs across manufacturing and for a Brexit deal that delivers for workers.

Jude Brimble, GMB National Secretary for Manufacturing


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