"The importance of manufacturing to the economy declined more rapidly under Labour administrations since 1997 than it did during the Margaret Thatcher era, according to a Financial Times study. The big winners in the same period were bankers, estate agents and public sector workers, whose share of output increased under the Labour governments of Tony Blair, the former prime minister, and Gordon Brown, his successor. The findings about the state of the economy were uncovered during a study of data held by the Office for National Statistics."
The full Financial Times report is here.
Douglas Carswell MP thinks he knows the explanation: regulation and taxation.