General election 2019: What jobs do UK workers actually do?


The UK is gearing up for another election, which means politicians of all parties fighting for the votes of what they call “ordinary” or “hard-working” people.

There are record numbers of people in work in the UK, although concerns have been raised about the quality of their employment and pay levels.

So, what jobs do we do in Britain, and what might be on workers’ minds?

A nation of service industry workers

When politicians want to appeal to working people, they tend to don hard hats and head to factories or construction sites.

These workplaces may look good in pictures, but they do not chime with most people’s experience of work.

Fewer than one in 10 people work in manufacturing, and even fewer in construction.

In contrast, more than four out of five people work in service industries.

This covers everything from bank workers to plumbers and restaurant staff – the businesses that provide work for customers, but which don’t manufacture things.

These service sector jobs have grown over time: 25 years ago they made up three-quarters of employment.

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