Data and publications

Skills for Care is the leading source of workforce intelligence for the adult social care workforce in England.

We use the information collected in the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS), which was previously named National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC), to create robust estimates for the size of the whole adult social care sector and characteristics of the workforce. We add insight and interpretation via our workforce intelligence publications below.

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Two national reports are published annually which are the 'Size and structure' report and the 'State of the workforce' report.  Both these reports are supported by interactive visualisations. 


National reports and information


At regional level, there are nine annual reports which provide an overview of the adult social care sector and workforce within each region. Each of the reports are  supported by interactive visualisations. 


Regional reports and information 

This section shows local information reports and interactive visualisations which allow you to compare two or more local areas or look more specifically at one area for more detailed information.


Local reports and information



How-many-people-work-in-careHow many people work in care

These 1.54 million people are carrying out 1.67 million jobs, which are spread over 17,700 organisations and 39,000 establishments.                                                                    

Size and structure page


The workforce continues to grow and has increased by 2.8% (45,000 jobs)  between 2019/20 and 2020/21. The number of adult social care jobs increased by 12% since 2012/13 (by 170,000 jobs).

Size and structure page

Demand-in-the-futureDemand in the future

The population aged 65 and above is projected to grow by 29% by 2035.  If the workforce grows at the same rate, then an additional 490,000 jobs will be required to meet this demand.

Size and structure page

Number-of-vacanciesNumber of vacancies

We estimate that, on average, 6.8% of roles in adult social care were vacant in 2020/21. This is equivalent to 105,000 vacancies being advertised on an average day.

Recruitment and retention page

Turnover-rateTurnover rate

We estimate that the turnover rate of the sector is 28.5%.  This equates to 410,000 leavers in the past twelve months.  63% of these leavers stay in the sector.

Recruitment and retention page

PAPersonal assistants

Around 70,000 individuals employ their own staff using their direct payment. On average they employ 1.85 PAs each and there were an estimated 130,000 PA jobs in 2021.

Personal assistants page

Economic-contributionEconomic contribution

The adult social care sector contributes £50.3 billion to the English economy. The total wage bill for the sector accounted for around half of this amount at £23.9 billion.

Economic value page

Age Age

Over a quarter of workers were aged 55 and over (425,000), so could retire within the next ten years. The average age is 44 years old. The proportion of workers aged 55 and over is higher for registered nurses (36%) and registered managers (32%).

State of the workforce page


Nine years is the average years of work experience across the sector. The average for a care worker was 7.7 years, registered managers 17 years and registered nurses 14 years. 

Recruitment and retention page


The median hourly rate for a care worker in the independent sector was £9.01 as at March 2021. In April 2020, the National Living Wage rose from £8.21 to £8.72 (up 6.2%). This increase contributed to a 6.0% increase in the median care worker hourly rate from March 2020 to March 2021. This was the highest increase over the recorded time period.

Pay rates page

Nationality Nationality

In 2020/21 84% of the adult social care workforce were British, 7% (113,000 jobs) had an EU nationality and 9% (137,000 jobs) had a non-EU nationality.


Workforce nationality page


There were 29,900 adult social care apprenticeships starts in 2019/20. This was around 26% lower than in 2018/19. Read about the number of starts, levy, comparisons with other sectors and participation and achievement statistics.


Apprenticeships page

Registered-managers Registered managers

There are 23,500 registered managers in the sector. 76% had been in the sector for 10 or more years, and averaged 7.9 years in their current role. Around 20.7% left their roles in the past 12 months. The vacancy rate of 11.2% was higher than the sector average.                                                                               

Registered managers page

Social-workers Social workers

As at 2020/21, there were an estimated 23,000 social worker jobs in the adult social care sector. Many of these jobs (17,500) were within local authorities, and around 2,000 were employed within the independent sector. And an additional 3,300 in the NHS.


Social work page

Regsitered-nursesRegistered nurses

As at 2020/21, there were 34,000 registered nurse jobs in the sector. They were one of the only jobs to see a significant decrease since 2012 (down 16,900 jobs, or 33%). This could be related to the recruitment and retention problem facing employers of registered nurses. 38% of nurses are estimated to have left their role within the past 12 months

Registered nurses page


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