Report highlights significant impact of manufacturing on UK economy

The UK’s manufacturing sector is having a far greater impact on the UK economy than first thought, according to a major new report released today (April 15, 2024).


Set to be launched at MACH 2024 in Birmingham, ‘The True Impact of UK Manufacturing’ report shows that the manufacturing industry is worth £518bn and supports 7.3 million UK jobs directly and across the supply chains/communities it operates in.

Carried out by Oxford Economics and the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), the report also shows that manufacturing accounts for 34.5 per cent of all UK goods and services exports, whilst the median wage is £31,300, which is 11 per cent higher than the national average.

James Selka, MTA’s CEO, is now urging the sector to build on this report by exploring ways in which it can address skills shortages and develop successful programmes, such as the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centres, to increase wealth creation by commercialising more of the innovations developed in the UK.

“This is a fantastic insight into the true impact of manufacturing in the UK and reinforces what many of us already know – that industry is a far greater contributor to GDP and jobs than listed in national accounts,” Selka said in a statement. “Our report has been designed to take a ‘deeper dive’ and looks at the direct, indirect, and induced impacts of manufacturing, which is a far more comprehensive overview of what we make, the complex nature of our supply chains and the economic benefit gained from the spending of wages by those employed in our sector.”

He continued: “The results illustrate that manufacturing accounts for £518bn of GDP and supports 7.3m jobs, most of which enjoy higher than average wages. We are also a part of the economy that invests heavily in new technologies, with 47 per cent of total R&D investment made by manufacturers.”


The MTA is now calling on a well-integrated commitment from the whole nation to help industry realise its potential, ranging from business leaders and academics to policymakers who are pivotal in developing a cross-party industrial strategy.

The True Impact of UK Manufacturing report will be officially launched at MACH 2024 by MTA President Tony Bowkett.

Headline sponsors Lloyds Bank welcomed the findings of the latest report. David Atkinson, UK head of Manufacturing SME and Mid Corporates, said: “As this report highlights, manufacturing is an integral part of the UK economy, through GDP contribution, job creation, and as a source of high wages. 

“When you consider the sector’s extended reach through its supply chains and beyond, you can really start to see the scale of its contribution.

“Manufacturers have demonstrated agility and resilience in the past few years of uncertainty, and we are responding by continuing to invest in partnerships in the sector that ensure it has the skills, tools and support needed to compete on a global scale.”