The chief industries of the place are straw-plaiting, boatbuilding, and the manufacture of pottery; and a considerable traffic is carried on by means of the river.
Selby is the centre of a rich agricultural district, and its industries include rope and twine making, flax-scutching, boatbuilding, iron-founding, tanning and brewing.
Malting, brewing and boatbuilding are also carried on.
The " rooibesje," red pear and milkwood trees are used for boatbuilding.
The principal manufactories are of tobacco, boatbuilding, agricultural implements, foundries and cloth factories.