Design Economy contributes £85 billion to the UK economy

The design economy generated £85.2bn to the UK in 2016, according to a new report by the Design Council.

The Design Economy 2018 report estimates the 2016 total to be 7 per cent of UK gross value added (GVA), equivalent to the size of the distribution, transport, accommodation and food sectors. This value has grown 10 per cent since the last report in 2014 compared to 7 per cent UK growth rate in the same period.

In 2016, there were 1.69 million people employed in design roles. This represents growth of 6% since the previous report, equivalent to 99,604 new jobs (compared to a UK average of 4 per cent since 2014).

Between 2009 and 2016, the design economy grew by 52 per cent. However, 68 per cent of this came from designers operating in non-design industries such as aerospace, automotive and banking.

The report also found that designers were 29 per cent more productive than the average UK worker, each delivering £50,328 in output (GVA per worker, 2016), compared to £39,111 across the rest of the economy.

Design Economy 2018 Report front cover / Image: Design Council


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