The manufacturing sector provides direct, highly visible and reasonably well-paid jobs, and is an important generator of employment in the rest of the economy. The 2014 count of manufacturing employment in the Lancashire 14-authority area of 84,300 represented 13.5% of total employment in the area. This was a noticeably higher than the GB rate of 8.2%.
Among the 24 manufacturing sub-sectors, other transport equipment, which includes British Aerospace, is a vital sector, and is estimated to account for 13,700 jobs in the Lancashire-14 area. Two other important manufacturing sub-sectors in Lancashire area are food products (12,400) and fabricated metal products except machinery and equipment (9,300).
By value of its output, manufacturing in 2013 accounted for £3.9 billion or a sizeable 15.8% of Lancashire's annual wealth creation (GVA). Manufacturing contributes more to wealth generation in Lancashire than any other individual sector within the local economy and underpins thousands of service sector jobs.
There is a long-term decline in direct employment in the sector, but over the years, the growth in out-sourcing of services has led to many former manufacturing jobs being reclassified to the service sector. Also service sector jobs in areas such as business software development are vital in their support of the manufacturing process, or are incorporated into the final manufactured product e.g., avionics. Productivity improvements mean more goods are produced by fewer people, so the long-term decline in direct manufacturing employment does not mean that the sector is in decline in terms of output or financial performance.
This article also highlights the fact that a number of the county's important manufacturing employers are subsidiaries of large international organisations that operate on a worldwide footprint.
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At the latest count, the 2014 business register employment survey estimated that there were 13,200 jobs in the Lancashire-14 area classified directly to the aerospace industry, making it the largest manufacturing sector in the county. Aerospace represented 15.6% of the total manufacturing workforce in the county or 2.1% of all employment in the Lancashire-14 area. In a wider context, its importance is reflected in the fact that Lancashire accounted for 14.6% of aerospace jobs in Great Britain.
There are 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) across England that focus on driving economic growth and creating jobs. The Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership area has the second highest number of jobs allocated to the aerospace sector out of the 39 LEPs. Land at the two BAe sites in Lancashire (Samlesbury and Warton) is being developed to form a single enterprise zone with a on attracting high-value manufacturing jobs in the aerospace and other industrial sectors.
The official definition of the aerospace industry is not a market-based one and in many respects under-states the importance of the industry as a core generator of jobs. Many large and medium-sized aerospace companies have taken to out-sourcing "non-core" services (security, catering, IT systems, human resources etc) which were previously undertaken in-house. Also other companies form part of the "hidden" aerospace infrastructure because their direct work for the aerospace sector forms only a proportion of their total workload, and the jobs are classified to other sectors such as precision engineering.
This article uses the following two standard industrial classification codes, that are used by the business register employment survey, to define the aerospace sector:
3030 - manufacture of air and spacecraft
3316 - repair and maintenance of aircraft and spacecraft
Download the full aerospace industry article here (PDF 128 KB)
Page updated October 2015
Manufacturing (PDF 358 KB)
The aerospace industry (PDF 128 KB)