Mnemonic: industry_former
Applicability: Person
Type: Derived variable


Classifies people aged 16 years and over who were not in employment between 15 March and 21 March 2021 but have previously been employed, by the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code that represents the industry or business of their last employment.


Total number of categories: 17

Code Name
1 A, B, D, E Agriculture, energy and water
2 C Manufacturing
3 F Construction
4 G Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles
5 H Transport and storage
6 I Accommodation and food service activities
7 J Information and communication
8 K Financial and insurance activities
9 L Real estate activities
10 M Professional scientific and technical activities
11 N Administrative and support service activities
12 O Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
13 P Education
14 Q Human health and social work activities
15 R S T U Other
16 Never worked
-8 Does not apply*

*Students and schoolchildren living away during term-time, children aged 15 years and under, and people who were employed in the week before 21 March 2021.

View all industry (former) classifications.

Quality information

As Census 2021 was during a unique period of rapid change, take care when using Labour Market data for planning purposes.

Read more in our Labour market quality information for Census 2021 methodology.


Read about how we developed and tested the questions for Census 2021.

Comparability with the 2011 Census

Highly comparable

What does highly comparable mean?

A variable that is highly comparable means that it can be directly compared with the variable from the 2011 Census. The questions and options that people could choose from may be slightly different, for example the order of the options may be swapped around, but the data collected is the same.

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland comparisons

Not comparable

This variable is not comparable as the data is not available for all countries.

What does not comparable mean?

A variable that is not comparable means that it cannot be compared for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Find out more about variables produced for Census 2021 in Northern Ireland and Census 2022 in Scotland.

Census 2021 data that uses this variable

You can create a custom dataset.