The size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England

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This report provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England.  

 

What's in the report?

  • Number of organisations and trends
  • Number of services/locations and trends
  • Direct payment recipients employing staff and trends
  • Number of jobs, full-time equivalent jobs, people working in adult social care and trends
  • Projections of the adult social care workforce by 2030.

 

Key findings

  • An estimated 20,300 organisations were involved in providing or organising adult social care in England as at 2016.
  • An estimated 40,400 establishments were involved in providing or organising adult social care in England as at 2016.
  • Around 235,000 adults, older people and carers received direct payments from councils’ social services departments in 2015/2016. It is estimated that approximately 70,000 (29%) of these recipients were employing their own staff. 
  • The number of adult social care jobs in England as at 2016 was estimated at 1.58 million.
  • The number of adult social care jobs was estimated to have increased by around 1.5% (20,000 jobs) between 2015 and 2016.
  • Since 2009 the number of adult social care jobs has increased by 19% (255,000 jobs).
  • The rate of increase for adult social care jobs has slowed – between 2014 and 2016 there was an increase of 30,000 jobs compared to increases of 70,000 between 2012 and 2014 and 90,000 between 2010 and 2012.
  • The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs was estimated at 1.11 million.
  • The number of people working in adult social care was estimated at 1.45 million.
  • If the adult social care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population, then the number of adult social care jobs will increase by 31% (500,000 jobs) to around 2 million jobs by 2030.

Use the data for yourself

If you're involved in workforce planning or commissioning, use the regional and local authority level estimates which are provided as appendices to this report.  Estimates from this report should not be directly compared with previous reports.

The appendices and workforce estimates contain tabulated information with more detailed breakdowns (sector, service, geographical level) than in the main report.  

Download area

The size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, 2017 - report

Key findings - infographic

Appendix 3 - total job numbers - excel 

Councils with Social Service Responsibilities workforce estimates (Appendix 4) - excel 

Please note that the workforce estimates have been updated with local authority information as at September 2017, and so may no longer match information within the report

Workforce estimates