UK manufacturing employment has hit its lowest level since 1841, according to a government survey released late Thursday.
The November Labor Market Report from the Office for National Statistics noted that the manufacturing employment levels were the same as the time period when the country's main sectors included coal mining, shipbuilding, textiles, iron and steel.
A total of 3.03 million workers were employed in the third quarter of 2006, a drop of 77,000 from the same time period in 2005. The mining, energy and water supply industries saw the largest employment jumps in the sector, increasing by 6,000 jobs compared to the prior year.
Tony Woodley, the Transport and General Workers Union General Secretary, said the report from the Office for National Statistics meant that the industrial revolution has almost come full circle.
"Having the lowest numbers in manufacturing since records began is a record the government cannot be proud of," Woodley said. "Government is a big customer of manufacturing industries. It should use its buying power to ensure products to equip our schools and hospitals are made in this country as well as taking, for example, a strategic lead to promote manufacturing investment in renewable energy generation."
The entire report can be accessed by clicking here.