Over half a million jobs lost in manufacturing since 2007
Shocking figures revealed by the GMB at their public services conference show that that almost 600,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the UK since 2007.
Between 2007 and 2017, 599,100 jobs were lost in the sector - a precipitous fall of almost 17 per cent. It follows a wider trend in the UK economy: in 1970, manufacturing made up over a quarter of the whole economy, and now it has dipped to merely 10 per cent.
Why does this matter? Because manufacturing jobs pay higher wages and deliver better conditions than the service industry. The GMB has estimated that £2.3 billion has been lost in real pay from because of the loss of these jobs. Economies that are dominated by manufacturing are also less volatile than service and finance based economies like the UK.
Scotland has been hit especially hard. Over 22 per cent of all manufacturing jobs in Scotland have disappeared over this period - which goes some way to explain why wage stagnation - which is bad across the UK, is particularly strong in Scotland.
That’s why the government’s plans to put building of Royal Navy ships out to tender is so dangerous for the UK manufacturing industry. The GMB is fighting back with their ‘Making It’ campaign, which seeks to rebalance the economy towards manufacturing once again.
Commenting on the report, Jude Brimble, GMB National Secretary for Manufacturing, said:
“We are at a critical crossroads in UK manufacturing.
“The right support for our manufacturing sector would accelerate growth, address the skills gap and provide much provide a much-needed boost to technology, production and exports.
“A robust manufacturing base post-Brexit is vital for the UK economy, workers and local communities.
“The continuing decline in jobs is a result in this Government's failure to deliver the certainty the industry needs.
“It begs the question; how does this add up to May's commitments that ‘the UK's post-Brexit arrangements must protect people's jobs and security’?
“This is why GMB Union’s Making It campaign calls for a rethink on Government procurement, investment for skills and jobs across manufacturing and for a Brexit deal that delivers for workers."