The publishing industry is part of the creative industries, which is represented by Creative Skillset. This includes: advertising; animation; computer games; corporate and commercial production; fashion and textiles; film; interactive media; photo imaging; publishing; radio; and television.
Publishing is made up of many different sub‐sectors, including: books; journals (including electronic journals); newspapers; news agencies; magazines and business media; directories and databases; and newsletters and reports. Newspapers, covering both national and local newspapers, are the largest sub‐sector employing over 60,000, around 30% of the sector. The smallest sub‐sector is News Agencies, which employs 24,000 and comprises 11% of the sector.
- There are over 200,000 people employed in the publishing industry, representing less than 1% of all those working in the UK.
- Over 60,000 of the publishing workforce is employed in newspapers.
- The publishing industry generates a turnover of £8.3 billion Gross Value Added and is one of the biggest earners for the UK creative media industries.
- 85% of business have less than 24 employees, 3% have 200 or more employees.
- The majority of companies are based in London and the South East of England.
- Around 45% of the workforce has a degree.
Jobs in the industry include: Editor, Illustrator, Journalist, Indexer, Licensing Manager, Commissioning Editor, Managing Editor, Production Editor, Sales Executive, Marketing Manager, Publicity Assistant.
National and regional data
The main geographical area of employment is London and the South East. The North West (including Merseyside) is next, followed by Scotland, the South West and the West Midlands. In Wales and Northern Ireland the sector is predominantly made up of small publishers and news media.
East Midlands – There are approximately 9,000 jobs in publishing. The industry is primarily focussed around consumer, business and professional journals & periodicals, as well as newspapers
East of England – There are approximately 25,000 people employed in the East of England. This is clustered around book publishing, newspapers, as well as consumer, business & professional journals & periodicals.
London – London has the largest publishing workforce with approximately 52,000 employed. Consumer, business & profession journals & periodicals makes up the largest employment sub sector at 20,000, but there is also a substantial workforce of 10,000 in both book publishing and other publishing activities.
North East – Approximately 16,000 people are employed in publishing in the North East comprised of 8,00 in newspapers, 4,000 in other publishing activities, 2,000 in both book publishing and consumer, business & professional journals & periodicals.
North West – There are currently no statistics for this region.
South East – The South East employs around 25,000 people in the publishing sector. Much of this work is clustered around book publishing at 11,000 and newspapers at 9,000 (more than any other region).
South West – 19,000 people are employed in the publishing sector in the South West. Other publishing activities makes up 6,000 of the total and book publishing and consumer, business & profession journals & periodicals have around 5,000 within each.
West Midlands – Approximately 6,000 people are employed in publishing in the West Midlands, predominantly in newspaper publishing at 4,000.
Yorkshire and the Humber – The Yorkshire and Humber has a workforce of around 6,000 people predominantly in newspaper publishing.
Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland has a relatively small publishing industry at around 1,000 people, all in the area of newspapers.
Scotland – Scotland has a publishing workforce of around 9,000 people mainly in newspapers at 7,000 and a further 2,000 in book publishing.
Wales – Wales has a small publishing workforce of around 2,000 employees mostly working in newspapers.
National and Regional information on the publishing sector in the nations and regions is based on the Labour Force Survey (ONS) Apr‐Jun 2009.