Anatomy of a sector: UK finance and professional services support 2.2m jobs, contributing 11 per cent of tax receipts and generating a £72bn trade surplus

London trader (C) on the floor of the Lo
Good times: finance generated a trade surplus of £72bn in 2014/15 (Source: Getty)

You already knew it, but here's definitive proof: supporting 2.2m jobs and contributing 11 per cent of tax receipts, finance and professional services is one of the most important sectors in the UK, according to new research.

A major report by City lobby group TheCityUK shows not only that the sector is a leading employer, accounting for almost seven per cent of total jobs in the UK - but also that more than two-thirds of those are outside London, with more than 200,000 jobs in the North West and South East, and 150,000 in the East of England, Scotland and the South West.

The finance sector itself supports more than a million jobs, while professional services accounts for 1.1m jobs. By far the largest industry in the sector was banking, with almost 417,000 workers.

The figures also suggested the sector's contribution to economic output was "well above" the average for the UK economy. Gross value-added per worker was about £87,000 - way above the £52,000 contributed by most UK workers.

And it was a similar story for tax receipts: the financial services sector contributed £66bn in tax revenue in 2014/15 - £30bn of which came from employees' income tax and national insurance contributions.

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(Source: TheCityUK)

It also helped to offset the UK's trade in goods deficit, generating a trade surplus of £72bn in 2014/15, about four per cent of GDP in its own right. That makes the UK's the world's largest exporter of financial services, create a trade surplus double the size of that created by Luxembourg, Switzerland and the US.

If that doesn't put a spring in your step as you head into work, nothing will...

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