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South East Is Now Britain's Largest Manufacturing Region

East Anglia, Wales and Northern Are The Smallest Regions Government urged to pull out all the stops to secure a future for Rover

There are 693,000 workers employed in manufacturing the South East of England. That is 18.6% of the total manufacturing workforce in Britain of 3,726,000. This makes the South East Britain's largest manufacturing region. In fact four of the top ten counties/boroughs for the number of manufacturing workers are in the South East. The West Midlands is the second largest with 469,000 or 12.8% of Britain's manufacturing workforce. Next comes the North West with 419,000 or 11.2% of the total.

East Anglia has the fewest number with 157,000 employed in manufacturing or 4.2% of the total. Wales is now the second smallest manufacturing region with 185,000 or 5% of Britain's manufacturing workforce. Third from bottom is now the Northern Region where there are 213,000 or 5.7% of the total. London and Scotland are 4th and 5th with 245,000 (6.6%) and 286,000 (7.7%) respectively. The table on page 2 of this release shows the numbers and percentages for all regions plus the top ten counties.

The proportion of the total GB workforce in manufacturing is now 13.9%. West Midlands and East Midlands have the highest proportion in manufacturing at 19.2% and 18.1% respectively.

The top ten counties/boroughs are 1). Essex 96,000, 2). Lancashire 95,000, 3). Hampshire 85,000, 4). Staffordshire 81,000, 5). Derbyshire 80,000, 6). Kent 71,000, 7). Birmingham 64,000, 8). Northamptonshire 64,000, 9). Hertfordshire 59,000 and 10). Leicestershire 58,000. The analysis of the recently published figures, from the Labour Force Survey - four quarter averages, December 2003 November 2004, by GMB looked at the number of manufacturing workers in all 203 counties/boroughs of Britain. For 31 areas, including 8 London boroughs, the figures were so small as to be statistically unreliable.

Paul Kenny, GMB Senior Official and member of the TUC General Council said, "The fact that the South East of England is now Britain's largest manufacturing region reflects the decline in jobs in Britian's former manufacturing heartlands. The fact that Surrey has 40,000 more manufacturing workers than Manchester speaks volumes. As a nation we import around £20 billion each month and we consume almost 2 million barrels of oil per day and vast quantities of natural gas. When the North Sea oil and gas run out the UK will need its manufacturing industry to maintain the living standards of the citizens. So GMB members at Rover are looking to the Government to pull out all the stops to save the company, not just in their own short term interest but in that of the nation as a whole."

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