Through the use of a number of interactive tools and maps developed by the Office for National Statistics, based on the calculation of location quotients1, it is possible to examine how employee jobs in different industries are concentrated in different areas of Great Britain.
This short story focuses on highlighting the differences between the manufacturing sector and the professional, scientific and technical activities sector (which includes high-skill service industries such as legal and accounting activities, management consultancy, and architectural and engineering consultancy) in 2011.
The manufacturing sector
Employee jobs in manufacturing in Great Britain are most concentrated in the Midlands, Northern regions of England and also in Wales2. In contrast, London and the South East do not specialise in the manufacturing sector, whilst Scotland also has a relatively low share of employee jobs in the sector.
At a more local geographical level a similar pattern can be observed; the local authorities in Great Britain with the highest relative specialisation in manufacturing include Pendle, Fylde, Barrow-in-Furness and Ribble Valley in the North West; Flintshire in Wales; and Corby in the East Midlands. Pendle has the highest relative share of employee jobs in the manufacturing3 sector overall, with particular specialisations in the manufacture of furniture, textiles and transport equipment.
Map 1: Spatial distribution of employee jobs in the manufacturing sector, by local or unitary authority, Great Britain, 2011
The professional, scientific and technical activities sector
In contrast to the wide geographical spread of manufacturing industries, the professional, scientific and technical activities sector is notably clustered in London and the South East with all other regions of Great Britain having a less than proportional share of employees in the industry. Wales has the lowest relative share of local employee jobs in this sector.
This pattern is upheld when looking at lower geographical levels. Most of the relatively highly specialised local authorities in the professional, scientific and technical activities sector are located in London, the South East and East of England regions4. The Scottish local authority Aberdeen City and Manchester in the North West of England also have a relative specialisation in this industry. By contrast, local authorities in Wales and the East and West Midlands generally have a relatively lower share of employee jobs in this sector.
Map 2: Spatial distribution of employee jobs in the professional, scientific and technical activities sector, by local or unitary authority, Great Britain, 2011
Identifying a local authority’s sector specialisations
In general, local authorities that specialise in manufacturing tend not to specialise in professional, scientific and technical activities and vice versa. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, South Cambridgeshire, Cheshire East, Fylde, Aberdeenshire and Malvern Hills all have a location quotient greater than 1.35 for both of these industries which indicate there is a relative specialisation in both industries in these local authorities.
In reverse of this, some local authorities have a less than proportional share of jobs in each of these industries relative to total employee jobs meaning their industrial specialisations are found in other sectors. Newham, Torbay and Ipswich each have a location quotient less than 0.52 in both manufacturing and in professional, scientific and technical activities which indicates they do not have specialisations in either of these sectors.
For further information, a November 2012 ‘Spatial Distribution of Industries’ article includes data and maps for other industrial sectors as well as more detail on why geographical concentration occurs and its implications and alternative measures of spatial concentration. Another article from November 2012, ‘Industrial Specialisation in Local Areas’, allows users to investigate the industrial structure in individual GB regions and local authorities and to investigate the similarity, or otherwise, of industrial structures between areas. Finally, there is a set of Google maps illustrating the location quotient data across different industries.
1Location quotients (LQ) are used to examine spatial concentration. The location quotients indicate in which particular geographic area there is a relatively high share of employee jobs to be found within a specific industry. An LQ above 1.0 indicates a relative concentration of the industry in the local area.
2See figure 1 in article ‘The spatial distribution of industries’.
3Note this analysis of manufacturing excludes the local authority of Copeland where a concentration of manufacturing employment within one single employer means the data is disclosive and cannot be included.
4For example, City of London, Camden, Southwark, Islington and Westminster in London; South Oxfordshire Bracknell Forest and Mole Valley in the South East; and South Cambridgeshire in East of England.
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