The manufacturing industry is the single largest contributor to economic output in Somerset and is of proportionally greater significance than is the case nationally. When we analyse figures specifically for the advanced engineering and manufacturing (AEM) sector, its proportional significance is even greater. In 2016 the AEM sector was worth £864m (GVA) and accounted for 7.6% of total economic output, more than double the 3.5% it contributes nationally. In South Somerset this is even more pronounced, where the contribution of AEM activities accounts for 15.9% of total economic output, more than four times the national average.
AEM activities accounted for just over 13,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in Somerset in 2016, which is 5.9% of all employment in the county. This compared with a national average of just 3.5%. As with economic output, the employment contribution of AEM is much greater in South Somerset than in other districts, where it accounted for more than 8,600 jobs, 65% of all AEM jobs in Somerset. In fact, AEM accounts for 12.5% of all employment in the South Somerset, more than twice the Somerset average, and almost four times the national average. The AEM sector also contributed approximately 2,300 jobs in Taunton Deane, 1,300 jobs in Sedgemoor, 860 jobs in Mendip and 150 jobs in West Somerset.
Measured as GVA per FTE job, productivity in the AEM sector in Somerset is approximately £65,200, almost 30% higher than the productivity average for the county of £50,460. This is also some £8,000 higher than the national average for productivity in this sector.
Source: Economic Model for Somerset and the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership, 2018