What is manufacturing?

Manufacturing encompasses all economic activities that transform raw materials into either intermediate goods (such as steel bars) or final products (such as cars). Manufacturing accounts directly for about 10% of the UK economy and 9% of employment (3 million jobs).

However, the sector also creates jobs in services – when this is taken into account, it represents 15%-22% of the economy and 5-7 million jobs. It provides almost half of UK exports and 60% of private sector investment and employment in research and development. It has higher productivity and wages than the average for the economy as a whole.

Even so, most developed countries (including the UK) are considered service-based economies, as services account for more employment and output than manufacturing and other economic activities combined.

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