The economic value of the adult social care sector – UK

The adult social care sector in the UK contributes £46.2 billion to the economy. It represents 6% of total employment and average earnings are £17,300. The average full time equivalent worker generated £19,700 of value towards the economy.

Commissioned by Skills for Care and Development and produced by ICF Consulting Limited, this report shares the economic impact of a growing sector offering services in 45,000 sites across the UK in 1.8 million job roles.  Separate reports for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have also been published.

Key findings

Sector characteristics

  • An estimated 45,000 sites were involved in providing adult social care in the UK in 2016. Most of these sites provided residential care. A further 72,000 individuals receive direct payments and employ Personal Assistants (PAs); 
  • There were an estimated 1.6 million jobs in the adult social care sector in the UK in 2016. Most of these jobs were involved in providing domiciliary care. There were a further 151,300 jobs due to individuals employing PAs, meaning there were a total of 1.8 million jobs in the adult social care sector in 2016; 
  • There were an estimated 1.2 million Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) in the adult social care sector in the UK, and a further 69,500 FTEs employed as PAs; 
  • Most of the adult social care workforce providing regulated services were employed at sites run by private sector providers (845,200);
  • The level of employment in the adult social care sector represents 6% of total employment in the UK; and 
  • The average earnings in the adult social care sector in the UK was estimated to be £17,300.

Economic value of the sector

  • It was estimated that in 2016, adult social care sector GVA was £23.6 billion (using the income approach). Most of this was estimated to be in domiciliary care (£7.0 billion, 30%);
  • This represents 1.4% of total GVA in the UK; and
  • It was estimated that the average level of productivity (GVA generated per FTE) in the adult social care sector was £19,200.

Indirect and induced value of the sector

  • The indirect effect of the adult social care sector (resulting from the purchase of intermediate goods and services by the adult social care sector in delivering its services) was estimated to contribute a further 603,500 jobs (424,800 FTEs) and £10.8 billion of GVA to the UK economy;
  • The induced effect of the adult social care sector (resulting from purchases made by those directly and indirectly employed in the adult social care sector) was estimated to contribute a further 251,300 jobs (176,100 FTEs) and £11.1 billion of GVA to the UK economy
  • The total direct, indirect and induced value of the adult social care sector in the UK was estimated to be 2.6 million jobs (1.8 million FTEs) and £46.2 billion.

 

Addendum to the report - further analysis