Where is this possibly true?

But in reality, this model has skewed investment, directing it away from manufacturing and other industries that still make up the bulk of employment in towns and outer city areas.

As long as we don;t define “local” to mean “inside the factory walls” there is nowhere in Britain where manufacturing produces a majority of jobs. Nowhere that even industrial production does. Hasn’t been for generations either.

Seriously, manufacturing is 10% of the UK economy, “industry” as a whole maybe 20%. Get over it you fool.

17 thoughts on “Where is this possibly true?”

  1. Why would one be preferred over another economic activity? I can see that some things are unpleasant to have next door, but apart from that why would I prefer manufacturing to agriculture or service industries?

  2. Presumably the author misses the opportunity to give up his job as a writer and work at a machine all day.
    Rather as so many people claim to regret that they can’t work down a coal mine any more.
    It couldn’t possibly be that they want other people to do jobs they wouldn’t touch.

  3. The Guardian – despises manufacturing and industry, wants to shut it down.
    Also the Guardian – finance deprives much of the country of investment in manufacturing and industry.

    Why is investment ‘diverted’ to finance bad but investment ‘diverted’ to ‘creative’ industries good?

  4. ‘BP gears up for the end of peak oil’

    Agree with Tim. Stupid writer doesn’t even know what ‘peak oil’ means.

    ‘Global demand for oil may already have peaked as the coronavirus crisis is likely to have a “significant and persistent” impact on global economic activity, according to BP.’

    Persistent? Wat? It’ll be gone in another year. At most.

    ‘Spencer Dale, the oil major’s chief economist and a former director of the Bank of England, said that assessing the impact of Covid-19 was highly uncertain because of the rise in new infections and the lack of an approved vaccine. However’

    There’s no “but.” You can’t assess it, according to you. Then you assess it.

  5. I always thought that part of the reason that manufacturing is perceived to have declined is that it is now much more efficient and employs far fewer people. Triumph motorcycles are producing more than 60,000 bikes a year which is more than they did during the 1960s. I don’t know how many people they employ now as opposed to then but I suspect that it is a lot fewer. Also, of course, it is simply uneconomical to manufacture cheap stuff here rather than a country where the industrial revolution has only just happened.

  6. “Why would one be preferred over another economic activity? I can see that some things are unpleasant to have next door, but apart from that why would I prefer manufacturing to agriculture or service industries?”

    I think it’s just a cool pose by rather shallow atomised middle class people trying to pretend they’re authentic and manly and part of some community by pretending to be working class. Like, no, I’m not some effete middle class person. Supporting manufacturing is like getting tattoos, pre-ripped jeans, drinking craft beer and wanting independent coffee shops with fake blackboards rather than chains.

    The funny thing to me, as someone who has done a few projects in manufacturing, is that manufacturing is nothing like these people imagine. When I was working in a shoe sole factory in the 1980s, you had a hot sweaty place with lots of dirt and smell and most people doing something with their hands, but you work at Airbus in Bristol, most people are pushing a mouse around a desk. A lot of car making is about process improvement, quality control and reporting. The amount of manual work in modern car plants is miniscule.

  7. Pat: “Rather as so many people claim to regret that they can’t work down a coal mine any more.”

    Not only that, they wanted the mine kept open for their kids to work in, and their kids in perpetuity. Whether anyone wanted the coal or not.

  8. Not just car making. Any manufacturer who wants to stay in business is going to put some effort into using modern technology for process improvement. Having watched a few of those programmes with Greg Wallace being faux-amazed in a food factory, the number of very specialised machines that perform one small part of the overall process for thousands of units per minute is illuminating. However some of these places still have lines of women either side of a conveyor belt doing checks and selection that a machine can’t yet. They’ll be gone eventually.

  9. “Rather as so many people claim to regret that they can’t work down a coal mine any more.”

    They want the coal mine open, but don’t want to burn any of the coal mined from it.

  10. Rob said:
    “The Guardian – Why is investment ‘diverted’ to finance bad but investment ‘diverted’ to ‘creative’ industries good?“

    Because their friends “work” in “creative industries” but they don’t know anyone who works in finance.

  11. @ rhoda klapp
    They want the mine to pay vastly higher wages than the local alternatives. Miners were – justifiably – paid higher wages than other unskilled/low-skilled jobs. The miners tended to die from roof-falls or poisoning from Carbon monoxide or silicosis or … but their wives enjoyed a higher standard of living that continued after the miner died.

  12. It’s like the trope I keep repeating, Sheffield makes more steel than it ever did, but with one man and a dog.

    I’ve been trying to find the data I used to back up my observations, but I think it may have been in the piles of crap that were shovelled into the bin when I stopped being a city councillor.

  13. @jgh

    https://www.insidermedia.com/news/yorkshire/5152-traditional-industries-steel isn’t the most reliable-looking of sources and is some years out of date but as of 2008, it claims:

    The industry’s heyday in South Yorkshire – according to figures from the Iron and Steel Statistics Bureau (ISSB) – was in 1969, when it produced 3.6 million tonnes a year. Now, according to Steve Mackrell of the ISSB, it is just 1.3 million tonnes – though the Sheffield and Rotherham area accounts for 10 per cent of UK steel production.

    “There’s a myth that Sheffield produces as much steel as it ever did and it’s just that it can now do so with fewer people, because the power of the unions has been beaten,” says Mackrell. “It’s just not true. The industry has been in decline for up to 40 years. Templeborough [the site of the Magna museum] alone produced 1.5 million tonnes a year.”

    Am sure the tonnes of steel per person employed has gone well up. You see something similar with the decline in coal mining jobs and production: both fell markedly, but the jobs fell an awful lot faster than the production did.

  14. Back in the eighties when unemployment was a constant hot topic, I visited a factory in Sunderland to do some on site maintenance. I had to pass through a section that was making flat pack furniture. That whole section of the factory was completely automated. There were a couple of guys watching over the machinery, presumably in case anything went wrong. I reflected then on the fact that the place was producing stuff but not employing many people.

  15. @ Stonyground
    Back in the 1950s ICI built a new automated ammonia plant at Billingham which was operated by three men per shift; no complaints from the unions ‘cos that was three extra jobs but such a big improvement in productivity that people were still talking about a decade later.

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