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Employment: Annual Business Survey (ABS)

The Annual Business Survey (ABS), carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), includes statistics on employment broken down by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC 2007). In wood processing, SIC 16 (wood products) and SIC 17 (pulp, paper and paper products) have a much wider scope than the data on employment in primary wood processing (Table 7.2), as they include primary processing of imported material and also some secondary processing. 

The latest ABS survey was published in May 2019 and includes data to 2017. It recorded average employment in 2017 of 16 thousand in forestry and 27 thousand in primary wood processing (sawmilling, panels and pulp & paper) (Table 7.1).

Table 7.1 Employment in forestry and wood processing2, 2013-2017

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)1 2013 2014 2015 2016  2017 
thousands      
Forestry 14 16 17 17 16
Wood products          
Sawmilling 8 9 8 9 9
Panels 5 5 5 5 5
Secondary products 51 65 56 67 60
Total 64 79 69 82 74
Pulp, paper & paper products          
Pulp & paper3 13 13 13 13 13
Articles of paper & paperboard 41 44 43 43 42
Total 54 57 56 56 55
Total wood processing 118 136 125 137 129
Total primary wood processing 26 27 26 27 27

Source: Annual Business Survey – average employment in year (Office for National Statistics, May 2019)

Notes:

1. Categories are based on the UK Standard Industrial Classification (SIC 2007) categories. Further details on the SIC codes used are provided in the Sources: Employment and businesses page.

2. Excludes other wood-using industries.

3. Pulp and paper breakdowns for 2013 to 2017 have been suppressed in the figures released by ONS. The figures shown here are estimated from 2008 figures.

Additional resources

Sources chapter: Employment and businesses

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