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Business register and employment survey (BRES)

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  • Release date: 3 October 2017
  • Period covered: 2016
An annual report, produced by the Office for National Statistics, which presents estimates of public sector employment, aggregated by sector classification and industry.

Key points

  • In 2016 there were 1.255 million employee jobs in Wales, 2.9 per cent higher than the figure of 1.220 million in 2015 and 14.7 per cent higher than the figure of 1.095 million in 1999. For the UK there was a 2.5 per cent increase between 2015 and 2016. Between 1999 and 2016 employee jobs in Great Britain increased by 14.3 per cent [UK data are not available prior to 2008].
  • There were increases in 11 of the 12 English regions and UK countries between 2015 and 2016, with the East of England having the largest percentage increase (up 4.0 per cent). The North East had the only decrease (down 1.3 per cent). Wales had the fourth highest percentage increase.
  • All of the eleven GB regions and countries had increases between 1999 and 2016, with London and the East of England having the largest percentage increases (both up 21.3 per cent). Wales had the fifth largest percentage increase whilst the North East had the lowest increase over this period (up 3.6 per cent).
  • The change in Wales between 2015 and 2016 was spread across a number of industry sectors, with the largest absolute increase in the Accommodation & Food Services sector (up 19,700) followed by the Construction sector (up 17,300). The largest fall was in the Professional, Scientific & Technical sector (down 8,800).
  • In 2016, the health sector was the largest in Wales, accounting for 15.9 per cent of all employee jobs, followed by 11.3 per cent in the manufacturing sector, 10.1 per cent in the retail sector and 10.0 per cent in the education sector.
  • In 2016 there were 299,100 public sector employee jobs and 956,300 private sector employee jobs in Wales. The share of these jobs was 23.8 per cent public and 76.2 per cent private (UK 17.6 per cent public and 82.4 per cent private). Please note that these estimates of public sector employee jobs differ to those of the official public sector employment estimates – the official estimates can be found on the Office for National Statistics website. The official estimates should be regarded as the definitive public sector estimates for the English regions and UK countries.


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