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Manufacturing: statistics and policy

Published Thursday, August 6, 2015

Manufacturing in the UK - key data and a summary of government policy

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This note provides data on the manufacturing sector and introduces Government policy in this area.


The manufacturing industry employs around 2.6 million people in the UK and, in 2013, accounted for 10% or £150.7 billion of national economic output.

Manufacturing has underperformed the services sector for many years. Output in the sector declined particularly sharply during the 2008/09 recession, and after a short period of growth it declined again in early of 2012. 2013 and 2014 have seen relatively strong growth.

Almost 70% of Research & Development investment is in the manufacturing sector, and goods produced in the sector account for 44% of all UK exports.

Manufacturing output, jobs, R&D and exports as a % of UK total


Successive governments have expressed enthusiasm for encouraging growth in the industry, and particularly in high value manufacturing.

The Coalition Government created or continued a number of policies with this aim, particularly the development of Catapult Centres, the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, the Manufacturing Advisory Service and the Regional Growth Fund.

Commons Briefing papers SN01942

Author: Chris Rhodes

Topics: Economic policy, Industry, Manufacturing industries

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