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Economic output by industry

The UK’s economy is dominated by services industries. These include retail, hospitality, professional services, business administration and finance.

In 2021, services industries contributed £1.7 trillion in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy, 80% of total UK GVA. GVA is a measure of economic output that is similar to GDP. It measures the value of products and services produced minus the costs incurred in production.

Manufacturing industries contributed £203 billion in GVA, 10% of the UK total. The construction sector’s output was £129 billion, 6% of GVA.

The following chart shows the relative growth of services and manufacturing industries since 1990, when consistent data began.

The attached excel sheet provides economic output data for broad industrial sectors from 1990-2021. 

Jobs by industry

Jobs by industry at national level is broadly in line with economic output as described above.

The service industries supported 30.0 million jobs in March 2022, around 84% of UK workers. There were 2.6 million jobs in manufacturing industries, 7% of UK jobs. The construction industry employed 2.3 million jobs, 6% of jobs. The number of jobs is not the same as the number of people employed, as individuals may hold more than one job. 

The following chart shows a breakdown of jobs by major industrial sectors as of March 2022.

Industries by country and region

The regions and countries of the UK largely have an industrial structure similar to the UK overall. Some notable outliers include:

  • The manufacturing industry accounted for 17% of economic output in Wales and the East Midlands in 2020, compared to 10% in the UK overall.
  • Services industries accounted for 93% of economic output in London, compared to 80% in the UK overall.

The size of industries in 2020 was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Accommodation & food, Arts, entertainment & recreation and the Other services industry (which includes hairdressers and beauty salons) were particularly negatively impacted. Regional economic output data by industry is only available up to 2020.

The attached excel sheet allows users to explore economic output and jobs data by industry for each country and region.

Further economic indicators by country and region can be found in the Library resource: Regional and national economic indicators.


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