What industries are creating the most and least jobs in the UK?

The global job market is changing, but which are the industries creating the most AND least jobs in the UK?

Despite recent political uncertainty, the UK job market is booming. Over 32 million people are currently in work across the country with rates of unemployment at their lowest levels since 1975. But where are all the jobs coming from?

RS Components analysed 40 years of ONS data to reveal which industries are creating the most jobs in today’s vibrant market, and there are clear winners and losers.

The industry that has grown the most since 1987 is real estate which, although a relatively small industry overall, has enjoyed a whopping 142 per cent increase. Considering the soaring price of property and the huge demand for homes it’s hardly surprising that jobs in Real Estate are growing.

The science and technology sector takes second place in the highest job growth rankings, adding just over 1.6 million jobs to the UK market since 1987, a percentage increase of 130 per cent. The industry has seen huge growth since the tech boom of the 90’s and 00’s and is continuing to thrive as the UK cements itself as a global leader in the industry. Administrative roles and positions in information and communication have also seen very healthy increases adding a combined 2.3 million jobs to the UK economy over the last 40 years.

Of the 19 industries categorised by the ONS, the five with the biggest percentage increase in jobs were:

Real Estate: +142 per cent


Science & Technology: +130 per cent


Administrative: +122 per cent


Information & Communication: +91 per cent


Healthcare: +74 per cent

Sitting at the bottom of the infographic are the industries that have failed to provide fresh roles in recent years. Unsurprisingly, mining and quarrying have seen the biggest percentage decrease in vacancies, with jobs falling 69 per cent since 1987. Although still a major industry in the UK job market, Manufacturing is seconded biggest jobs loser, shedding almost 2.3 million positions over the last four decades, no doubt partly due to huge developments in automation.

The five industries with the biggest decrease in jobs were:

Mining & Quarrying: -69 per cent


Manufacturing: -46 per cent


Electricity, Gas & Air Conditioning Supply: -29 per cent


Public Admin & Defence: -21 per cent


Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing: -20 per cent

It’s clear from the last four decades of job data that the UK is changing focus, slowly shifting from the industrial Britain of old to the services and tech Britain of the future. But which industries will survive the next forty years?

Take a look at the infographic below for more.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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