Skip to content

Priority sector statistics

Bookmark and Share
  • Release date: 31 August 2016
  • Period covered: 2015
  • Next update: 27 September 2017
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 tables and tables 4.1 to 4.9 of the sub-sector tables were updated on 31 August 2016 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 2015. The largest sector in terms of registered enterprises was Financial & Professional Services (due to a large number of zero employee and micro sized enterprises). The Life Sciences sector was the smallest.
  • In 2015 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 42 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 2014 was the Financial & Professional Services sector (with 159,300). The sector with the smallest was Life Sciences with 10,200.
  • In 2015 Food & Farming had the greatest proportion of self-employment at 44 per cent, followed by 39 per cent in Construction and 36 per cent in the Creative Industries. The smallest proportion was in Advanced Materials & Manufacturing (4 per cent), with the figure for the whole economy being 15 per cent.
  • 12 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 45 per cent of employment in Wales in 2015.
  • Full-time gross mean weekly earnings for employees in the priority sectors were higher than those in non-priority sectors in 2015 (£555 vs. £541). The sector with the highest earnings was the Creative Industries sector (£657) whilst the lowest were in the Tourism sector (£374). The figure for the whole economy was £546.
  • In 2014 the rate of new businesses for the priority sectors was above that of the non-priority sectors (13.5 per cent vs. 9.7 per cent). The priority sector with the highest rate of new businesses was the Financial & Professional Services sector (23.1 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 (£30 vs. £17) in 2014. The Financial & Professional Services sector had the highest GVA per hour worked (£58) whilst the Creative Industries had the lowest (£13).
  • The local authority with the greatest proportion of employment in the priority sectors in 2015 was Isle of Anglesey (55 per cent), whilst the lowest was in Denbighshire (35 per cent).
  • In 2015 the largest priority sub-sector was in the Finance & Professional Services sector with 71,900 people working in the Professional Business Services sub-sector.


Tel: 0300 025 6960

Tel: 0300 025 8099

Keep up to date @StatisticsWales@StatisticsWales Sign up to our newsletterSign up to our newsletter