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 5%, or 1.4 million jobs. This is despite a reduction of around 0.7 million jobs between the first quarter of 2008 and and first quarter of 2010.
- 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 20%, from 6.5 million in 2001 to 5.5 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 (all bar the West Midlands, where the total number of jobs has fallen).
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 third). By contrast, the number of jobs in construction is similar to a decade ago, with the fall in the last two years offsetting a rise in the previous eight.
- One in three 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.
Why this indicator was originally chosen
This indicator is the number of jobs in the manufacturing, construction and other production industries. Whilst the total number of jobs has been growing over the last decade, the mix of these jobs has also been changing. This has potentially important implications for poverty. In particular, production, construction and other production industries are typically dominated by full-time male manual jobs and the loss of such jobs can have a severe impact on the income of many households where the man is often the major earner of the household.
Definitions and data sources
The data in all the graphs includes both employed and self-employed people (technically ‘workforce jobs’) and covers the whole of the United Kingdom.
The first graph shows total number of jobs over time, with the data broken down into four overall sectors, namely: manufacturing, construction and other production industries (Standard Industrial Classification or SIC 2007 codes A-F); wholesale, retail, hotels and restaurants (SIC 2007 codes G and I); finance and other business activities (SIC 2007 codes H plus J-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-H, I-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 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).
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.
Relevant 2007 Public Service Agreements
None directly relevant.
|Public sector, voluntary sector and other miscellaneous||Manufacturing, construction and other production industries||Finance and other business activities||Distribution, hotels and restaurants|
|Manufacturing||Construction||Other production industry|
|Region||Public sector, voluntary sector and other miscellaneous||Manufacturing, construction and other production industries||Private sector services||Total|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||4%||-3%||4%||5%|
|Type of worker||Public sector, voluntary sector and other miscellaneous||Manufacturing, construction and other production industries||Finance and other business activities||Distribution, hotels and restaurants||Total|
|Type of worker||Public sector, voluntary sector and other miscellaneous||Manufacturing, construction and other production industries||Finance and other business activities||Distribution, hotels and restaurants|