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Focus on net zero and stop letting manufacturing jobs disappear, GMB Union urges Government

27 June 2022

New analysis from GMB Union has revealed almost 200,000 UK manufacturing jobs were lost during the pandemic.

GMB Union has called on the UK Government urgently to revolutionise the race to net zero to prevent further jobs from disappearing overseas.

The UK lost 170,000 manufacturing jobs during the pandemic, the union's analysis shows. 

The damning statistics are revealed alongside GMB’s Annual Congress, which took place in Harrogate on 13 June 2022. They show 170,400 jobs in the sector disappeared between 2019 and 2021, a fall of almost six percent in just two years. 

In 2019, the UK supported 2.9 million permanent and temporary manufacturing jobs. By the start of this year, the had fallen to 2.7 million. 

Every region and nation in the UK has experienced a decline in manufacturing employment. The worst affected region by total job losses – the East Midlands – lost more than 31,000 manufacturing jobs. This was a loss of one in ten manufacturing jobs in the region. 

Charlotte Childs, GMB National Officer, said: “Almost 200,000 jobs manufacturing jobs lost during the pandemic is devastating for communities. Unless Ministers address this urgently, there could be worse to come. 

“The race to net zero could revolutionise UK manufacturing; tens of thousands of new, green jobs in wind, solar, nuclear, and more. Instead, this Government seems determined to let them all disappear overseas.” 

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