blue collar jobs
Graphs on this page:
- 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.
- Between 2001 and 2011, the total number of jobs increased by 6%, or 80,000 jobs. Note that all of this increase was in the first half of the decade.
- While the total number of jobs is higher than a decade ago, the number of jobs in manufacturing, construction and other production industries has fallen by 10%, from 340,000 in 2001 to 300,000 million in 2011.
- This pattern of an increase in total jobs, combined with a decrease in the number of jobs in the production industries, has occurred throughout most of the United Kingdom as well as in Wales.
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 a quarter). 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 part-time workers.
- Manufacturing, construction and other production industries are the areas which are dominated by full-time male workers.
- Based on 2001 Census data, there are two parts of Wales where a high proportion of residents work in manufacturing industry. Almost all of the small local areas within the six local authorities in the Valleys – from Neath Port Talbot in the west, to Torfaen in the east – were ones in which at least a fifth of those with jobs work in manufacturing. Many of these – chiefly in Blaenau Gwent as well as parts of Caerphilly, Bridgend (which is not counted here as part of the Valleys), Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda, Cynon, Taff – had more than a quarter working in manufacturing.
- The other part of Wales with a high dependence on manufacturing jobs were the North East – Wrexham and Flintshire. As with the Valleys, most small local areas here had more than a fifth of those with jobs working manufacturing while some, especially around Wrexham itself and Flint, have more than a quarter working in that sector.
- Notable for the complete absence of high dependence on manufacturing were Cardiff and (with some exceptions) Swansea. This does not mean that these areas do not have residents who work in manufacturing but rather that those who do form a relatively small proportion of the people with jobs living in the area.
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.