Key points

Overall trends

  • The discussion below focuses on the medium term trends (over the last decade or so) rather than the shorter term changes arising from the current recession.
  • At 2.7 million, the total number of jobs in 2011 is slightly higher than a decade ago (2.6 million), despite a fall of 100,000 since 2008.
  • Within this total, the number of service jobs (both private and public) is somewhat higher than a decade ago, whilst the number of production (mainly manufacturing and construction) is somewhat lower.  The number of jobs in manufacturing, construction and other production industries has fallen by 20%, from 590,000 in 2001 to 470,000 in 2011.
  • This pattern of an increase in the number of service jobs, combined with a decrease in the number of production jobs, has occurred throughout the United Kingdom as well as in Scotland.

Jobs in the production industries

  • Looking at the change of jobs within the production industries in more detail, all of the fall has been in manufacturing (down by almost half).  By contrast, the number of jobs in construction is similar to a decade ago.
  • Four in ten full-time male workers are in production industries, compared to around one in ten full-time female workers and part-time workers.
  • Manufacturing, construction and other production industries are the areas which are dominated by full-time male workers.

Definitions and data sources

The data in all the graphs includes both employed and self-employed people (technically ‘workforce jobs’).

The first graph shows total number of jobs over time, with the data broken down into three overall sectors, namely: manufacturing, construction and other production industries (Standard Industrial Classification or SIC 2007 codes A-F); private sector services (SIC codes G-N); and public sector and other community services (SIC 2007 codes O-S).  At this level of aggregation, these groups are broadly comparable to SIC 2003 groups A-F, G-K and L-Q that were in use until recently.

The second graph shows a further breakdown of the trends in the manufacturing, construction and other production industry sector.

The third graph shows, for each region in the United Kingdom and each sector, the change in jobs over the last decade.  These changes are shown as a proportion of the total jobs in each region a decade ago.

The data source for the first three graphs is ONS Economic and labour market review publications and the data is a count of jobs rather than a count of people.  The data is for the first quarter of each year.

The fourth graph shows the proportion of workers that are in each of the four sectors for each of full-time male workers, full-time female workers and part-time workers (both sexes combined).  In both this and the next graph, the private sector services sector is divided between wholesale, retail, hotels and restaurants (SIC 2007 codes G and I); finance and other business activities (SIC 2007 codes H plus J-N)

The fifth graph shows how the total number of people working in each sector is divided between full-time male workers, full-time female workers and part-time workers (both sexes combined).

The ONS Economic and labour market review publications do not provide data by gender.  In this context, the data source for the fourth and fifth graphs is the Labour Force Survey and the data is the average for the latest three years.  Note that these two graphs are counts of people rather than the counts of jobs in the first two graphs.  For full-time workers, these two counts are similar but, for part-time workers, they are somewhat different as two part-time workers can share the same job and one part-time worker might have more than one job.  The general pattern in both graphs would, however have been similar if job counts had been used.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The data is from authoritative sources but is subject to substantial revisions from time to time.

External links

See the New Deal website.