East of England’s manufacturing workforce shrinks by 62,000 in 10 years
More than 60,000 fewer people work in the manufacturing industry in the East of England now than a decade ago, a union claims.
Analysis of Office for National Statistics data by the GMB shows that between 2006/7 and 2016/17 the number of manufacturing sector workers in the region fell from 332,300 to 270,200 – a fall of 18.7%.
Recent mass redundancies in the sector in Norfolk and Suffolk have come from Delphi, Britvic and Colman’s maker Unilever.
Among the hardest-hit districts in the decade were Forest Heath, which lost 57.8% of its manufacturing workforce, Great Yarmouth (-47.9%), Babergh (-40.7%) and Norwich (-40.6%).
But there were districts bucking the trend such as Suffolk Coastal, where the manufacturing workforce was up 62.9% in the decade, and North Norfolk (38.5%).
Warren Kenny, GMB regional secretary, said the “steady erosion” of the manufacturing base “cannot be allowed to continue”.
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