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Priority sector statistics

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  • Release date: 11 June 2015
  • Period covered: 2015
  • Next update: 26 May 2016
An annual report which includes data on Gross Value Added (GVA), employee jobs, hourly earnings by gender, employment by qualification level and some local authority estimates.

Table 6.1 of the main Excel tables and Tables 4.1 to 4.9 of the sub-sector Excel tables were updated on 25 August 2015 to include new data for Gross Value Added (GVA) from the Annual Business Survey.

Key points

  • Just over two thirds of VAT or PAYE registered enterprises were in a priority sector in 2014. The largest sector in terms of registered enterprises was Financial & Professional Services (due to a large number of zero employee and micro size enterprises). The Life Sciences sector was the smallest.
  • In 2014 the structure of registered enterprises varied greatly between the priority sectors; 82 per cent of employees in Construction were in Small-Medium Enterprises, compared with 41 per cent in Advanced Materials & Manufacturing and 39 per cent in the whole economy.
  • The priority sector with the largest number of employee jobs in 2013 was the Financial & Professional Services sector (with 138,400). The sector with the smallest was Life Sciences with 10,000.
  • In 2014 Food & Farming had the greatest proportion of self-employment at 45 per cent, followed by 38 per cent in Construction and Creative Industries. The smallest proportion was in Advanced Materials & Manufacturing (4 per cent), with the figure for the whole economy being 14 per cent.
  • 11 per cent of employment in Wales was in the Energy & Environment sector, compared to 1 per cent for the Life Sciences sector. The priority sectors accounted for 44 per cent of employment in Wales in 2014.
  • Full-time gross mean weekly earnings for employees in the priority sectors were slightly lower than those in non-priority sectors in 2014 (£543 vs. £534). The sector with the highest earnings was the Creative Industries sector (£711) whilst the lowest were in the Tourism and Food & Farming sector (£414). The figure for the whole economy was £537.
  • In 2013 the business birth rate for the priority sectors was above that of the non-priority sectors (14.1 per cent vs. 9.8 per cent). The priority sector with the highest birth rate was the Financial & professional services sector (25.7 per cent), whilst the lowest was in the Food & farming Sector (0.4 per cent – however agriculture is not covered by the business demography statistics).
  • GVA per hour worked in the priority sectors was higher than that of the non-priority sectors (£28 vs £16) in 2012. The Financial and Professional Services sector has the highest GVA per hour worked (£51) whilst the Creative Industries has the lowest (£13).
  • The local authority with the greatest proportion of employment in the priority sectors in 2014 was Flintshire (56 per cent), whilst the lowest was in Denbighshire (36 per cent).
  • In 2014 the largest priority sub-sector was in the Tourism sector with 59,500 people working in the Food & Beveraging Service Activities sub-sector.


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