The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England



This report, building on the workforce estimates published in the size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce report, provides more in-depth information about the sector and its workforce characteristics.

What's in the report?

  • Size of the sector and workforce and what it looks like
  • Employment information e.g. full/part time status, zero-hours contracts
  • Demographics e.g. gender, age, disability status, ethnicity and nationality
  • Recruitment and retention information, experience in sector and role, and source of recruitment
  • Pay rates
  • Care certificate, training and qualification information
  • Personal assistant estimates and workforce characteristics
  • Workforce forecasts up to 2030.


Key findings for adult social care

  • A quarter of the workforce (24%) were on a zero-hours contract (325,000 jobs).
  • The staff turnover rate was 27.8%.
  • Approximately two thirds of starters were recruited from within the sector.
  • Adult social care has an experienced 'core' of workers. Workers had, on average, eight years of experience in the sector.
  • Around 6.6% of the roles in adult social care are vacant. This gives an average of approximately 90,000 vacancies at any one time.
  • A fifth of all workers (305,000 jobs) were aged over 55 years old.
  • The majority (83%) of the adult social care workforce were British, 7% (95,000 jobs) had an EU nationality and 9% (125,000 jobs) a non-EU nationality. The result of the EU referendum appears, so far, to have had little effect.
  • Since the introduction of the mandatory National Living Wage on April 1 2016, care workers pay in the independent sector has increased at a higher rate than previous years.

Further resources

The download area below includes the main report and supporting materials. The workforce estimates contain tabulated information with more breakdowns (sector, service, geographical level) than are presented in the main report.  

You'll also find three summaries below. They are two pages long and contain an overview of, and key differences between, each service.


Download area

The state of the adult social care sector and workforce - report 

Infographic with key findings 

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

Summary of care homes with nursing services

Summary of care homes without nursing services

Summary of domiciliary care services