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Study Finds 1 Million UK Jobs Depend on Physics

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LONDON, Oct. 22, 2012 — Four percent of employees in the UK — more than 1 million people — work in physics-based businesses, a sector that could recreate the nation’s economy, according to a recent study by the Institute of Physics (IOP).

“It’s too easy to overlook the contribution that physics makes to the economy,” said incoming IOP president Dr. Frances Saunders. “From the number of jobs it creates to the value it adds, this report shows how much physics has to offer to our economic recovery.”

Produced in collaboration with Deloitte, the study assesses the physics-based businesses’ contribution from 2005 to 2010; it was used to determine the effect of 2008’s financial crash on the physics industry. Physics-based businesses refer to organizations that would be unable to exist without the ability to respond and adapt to the latest advances in research.

Catalog - The Importance of Physics to the UK Economy.Such businesses employ more than 1 million people in the UK, creating a greater number of jobs than both the construction sector and the finance, banking and insurance sector.

The value added to the UK economy by physics-based employees is almost double that of the average UK employee; in 2010, the Gross Value Added (GVA) by the average employee was £36,000 (about $57,700), while the average employee in the physics sector contributed approximately £70,000. Besides employing 4 percent of the country’s workers, these businesses provided, on average, 8.5 percent of the country’s GVA (comparable to the gross domestic product, or GDP) annually.

Since 2005, the total number of registered businesses in the physics sector has risen by more than 30 percent, showing that it has an important role in helping to drive economic recovery.

“Physics-based businesses have the potential to pull us out of the recession, but they need focused support through more ready access to capital and innovative public procurement,” Saunders said.

High-technology tools and systems provider Oxford Instruments, with annual sales of £337 million, credits its entire revenue on the physics industry, said chief executive Jonathan Flint.

“Physics can play an integral part in recreating an economy that we can all be proud of,” Flint said.

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Oct 2012
BusinessDeloitteDr. Frances Saunderseconomic recoveryEnglandEuropeInstitute of PhysicsJonathan FlintopticsOxford Instrumentsphysicsphysics-based businesses

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