Manufacturing pays more than double the total wages into the economy than the financial sector, figures show.
GMB, the union for manufacturing workers, is calling for the sector to be protected post Brexit as new statistics show manufacturing pumps £108 billion a year into the economy.
The figures emerge as GMB discussed a workers' Brexit at their 100th Annual Congress in Plymouth today.
The data comes from the ONS and shows manufacturing pays almost double the total wages into the economy than the financial sector does (£63 billion). [See note 1 for breakdown by region].
In 2016 there were 2.6 million UK workers employed in manufacturing – compared to 1 million in financial services , yet the financial sector is overwhelmingly the focus of Brexit discussion.
GMB says manufacturing should be given the same post-Brexit care and attention from the Government as the financial sector appears to have.
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:
"These figures show how absolutely crucial UK manufacturing is, it's jobs and livelihoods but it's also a real money-spinner for the economy.
"There's lots of talk about the City of London, well manufacturing contributes twice as much to the economy in wages.
"Whoever forms the next Government needs to act straight away not just to protect our 2.6 million manufacturing workers, but to create new skilled jobs in the sector and it's supply chains.
"That's the sort of Brexit working people need."
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Notes to editors:
 Manufacturing sector wages versus financial sector wages by regions:
|Wages paid in 2015 (£ms)||Employment in December 2016|
|Region||Manufacturing||Financial and insurance activities||Manufacturing to financial services ratio*||Region||Manufacturing||Financial and insurance activities||Manufacturing to financial services ratio*|
|East Midlands||11,007||1,272||8.7||East Midlands||288,000||40,000||7.2|
|North East||4,970||910||5.5||North East||117,000||26,000||4.5|
|North West||14,806||3,544||4.2||North West||317,000||84,000||3.8|
|Northern Ireland||3,104||729||4.3||Northern Ireland||87,000||20,000||4.4|
|South East||12,335||5,737||2.2||South East||279,000||139,000||2.0|
|South West||9,368||3,409||2.7||South West||237,000||80,000||3.0|
|West Midlands||12,335||2,706||4.6||West Midlands||317,000||61,000||5.2|
|Yorkshire & Humber||10,488||3,424||3.1||Yorkshire and The Humber||294,000||81,000||3.6|
|United Kingdom||108,150||63,304||1.7||United Kingdom||2,623,000||1,074,000||2.4|
|ONS, Regional gross value added (income approach) - Table 7, 15 December 2016||ONS, Workforce jobs by industry (SIC 2007) - seasonally adjusted|
|https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossvalueaddedgva/datasets/regionalgrossvalueaddedincomeapproach||Retrieved from the Nomis data query service on 30 May 2017|
|* Ratios are inverted for London|