About the data
Service industries accounted for just over 72% of all employment in 2020. This is notably lower than the national average of just over 80%, largely attributable to the relative significance of manufacturing in Somerset, which in 2020 accounted for 12.7% of all employment (28,528 FTEs) compared to the national average of 10%.
Please Note: Proportions of employment reported here are based on full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and therefore do not represent the number of jobs in each industry, which may be higher in some industries which have a higher propensity for part-time work.
The only industry that accounts for more employment in Somerset than manufacturing is Wholesale & Retail activities, which contributed 16% (31,409 FTEs) to all employment in 2020. Real estate activities were also the biggest industry nationally, though accounting for comparatively less employment at 13.3%. The third and fourth biggest industries for employment in Somerset in 2020 were Human health & social work activities (11.4%, or 25,587 FTEs), and Construction activities (9.4%, or 17,543 FTEs).
Unsurprisingly, given the rural character of Somerset, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Activities contribute almost three times as much employment in Somerset (5.4%) than is the case nationally (1.8%). Industries which account for comparatively less employment in Somerset than is the case nationally include Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (7.7% versus 9.9%), Information and Communication (2.4% versus 5.1%), administrative and Support Services (6.2% versus 8.0%) and Financial and Insurance Activities (1.0% versus 3.6%).
The following are key points pertaining to industry employment at the lower-tier local authority area in Somerset in 2020.
- Manufacturing was the biggest employer for South Somerset (20.8%) and Sedgemoor (14.4%) and the second biggest employer in Mendip (10.2%). In Somerset West and Taunton (5.5%) its contribution was much smaller.
- Wholesale and Retail Trade was important for all districts and was the single biggest employer in Mendip (16.5%).
- Transportation and Storage accounted for more employment (13.3%) in Sedgemoor than any other district.
- Human Health and Social Work Activities was the biggest industry in Somerset West and Taunton in terms of employment, accounting for 18.1% of all FTEs. This is largely due to the presence of Musgrove Park Hospital.
- Public Administration and Defence contributed more to employment in South Somerset (6.5%) due it being key administrative centre and/or the location for key MOD assets.
- Electricity, Steam, Gas and Air-Conditioning Supply made up 1.7% of employment in Somerset West and Taunton compared to the county average of just less than 0.5%. This is due to the presence of the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.
Source: Economic Model for Somerset and the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership, 2022