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Industries in the UK

Published Monday, August 15, 2016

This note presents data on the value and relative contribution of major industries to the UK economy

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This note presents data on the contribution of industries to the UK economy.

In 2015:

  • The economic output of the service industries was worth £1.3 trillion, 80% of all UK economic output.
  • Manufacturing output was worth £162 billion, 10% of the total.
  • Construction output was worth £102 billion, 6% of the total.


Employment by industry is broadly in-line with output. In 2014:

  • The service industries employed 23.8 million people, 85% of UK workers
  • Manufacturing employed 2.4 million people, 8% of the total
  • The construction industry employed 1.3 million people, 4% of the total

The Excel document attached along with this Briefing Paper contains an interactive spreadsheet which alows you to see employment by industry in each of the regions and countries of the UK.  

Over the past few decades, the industrial make-up of the UK has changed markedly.

  • In 1990, the manufacturing industry contributed 18% of UK total economic output, down to 10% in 2015.
  • The service industries contributed 69% of the total in 1990, compared to 80% in 2015.


Industrial change

After outlining the sources used and some of the methodology, this note analyses output from the major industries and notes some significant changes over the past three decades. It them examines employment by industry. Finally data tables are presented which show output and employment by industry since 1990.

This note also contains an appendix showing economic output of the major industries between 1970 and 2010. These data use slightly different definitions of industries to those used in the earlier parts of the paper.



Commons Briefing papers SN06623

Author: Chris Rhodes

Topics: Construction industry, Economic situation, Industry, Manufacturing industries, Service industries

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