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Data and publications

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

We’re commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care to collect data on adult social care providers and their workforce via the National Minimum Dataset for Social Care (NMDS-SC). For over ten years we’ve turned this data into intelligence and insight that's relied upon across Government and our sector.

Understanding the size and shape of the sector and the issues affecting it helps us to provide evidence to policy-makers and
decision-makers. Using our workforce intelligence, we’re able to do this at national and local level. 

A downloadable quarterly briefing for journalists is available here.


Two national reports are published annually and present the latest picture of the adult social care sector and workforce. 

The ‘Size and structure’ report includes the size of the workforce split into detailed categories and number of employers. The ‘State of the workforce’ report looks in detail at workforce characteristics, issues and trends.

State of the workforce report

Size and structure report



Regional reports provide a detailed overview for each of the nine regions in England. Data has been analysed and published into these readily downloadable reports.

Economic contribution reports are also available by region on these pages.

Regional reports and information 


There are 152 local authority areas in England. 

Download a short workforce report for each area or explore the data for yourself and compare characteristics between local authority areas using the interactive tool. 

Local reports and information



Size-of-the-workforceHow many people work in care

These 1.49 million people are doing 1.62 million jobs, which are spread over 18,500 organisations and 39,000 establishments.                                                                    

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The workforce continues to grow and has increased by 22%, 290,000 jobs since 2009. You can see the breakdown for different job roles and service types using the link below. 

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DemandDemand in the future

The population aged 65 and above is projected to grow by 36% by 2035.  If the workforce grows at the same rate, then an additional 580,000 jobs will be required to meet this demand.

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VacanciesNumber of vacancies

There are over 110,000 vacancies. That's 8% of roles vacant at any given time in our sector.

The Government national campaign #everydayisdifferent is aiming to tackle this.

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Turnover-rates in the adult social care sectorTurnover rate

We estimate that the turnover rate of the sector is 30.7%.  This equates to 390,000 leavers in the past twelve months.  67% of these leavers stay in the sector.

Turnover rates have been increasing since 2012/2013 where they were 23.1%.

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PAPersonal assistants

Around 70,000 individuals employ their own staff using their direct payments.

On average they employ 2.1 personal assistants each and there were an estimated 145,000 personal assistant jobs in 2017.

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Economic-contribution of social careEconomic contribution

The adult social care sector contributes £38.5 billion to the English economy.  

The economic contribution figure includes wages paid to workers in the sector, social care’s supply chain and wages spent in other sectors of the economy.

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Age Age

Almost a quarter of workers were aged 55 and over (24%, 320,000), so could retire within the next ten years.

The proportion of workers aged 55 and over is higher for registered nurses (34%) and registered managers (31%).

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Average experience of people working in social careExperience

Eight years is the average years of work experience across the sector. The average for a care worker was 6.5 years, registered managers 19 years and registered nurses 14 years.

On average, care workers have been in their current role for 4 years. 

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Pay in adult social carePay

The median hourly rate for a care worker in the independent sector was £8.10 as at February 2019. The pay gap between the most and least experienced care workers has narrowed from 32p in 2016 to 17p.

In February 2019, 30% of care workers were paid the minimum compared to 17% in March 2016.

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Nationality Nationality

In 2017/18 83% of the adult social care workforce were British, 8% (104,000 jobs) had an EU nationality and 10% (129,000 jobs) had a non-EU nationality.

Read about the likely impact of Brexit on the adult social care workforce and sector.  Find information on the nationality of the care workforce, trends over time and what has changed since the referendum.

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The number of apprenticeship starts in 16/17 was 91,630 - an increase of 4% from the previous year. There were more starts in adult social care than any other apprenticeship programme in England.

Read about the number of starts, levy, comparisons with other sectors and participation and achievement statistics.

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Number of Registered-managers in social care sector Registered managers

This is how many registered managers in the sector.
76% had been in the sector for 10 or more years, and averaged 8.2 years in their current role. Around 22% left their roles in the past 12 months.

The vacancy rate of 11.8% was higher than the sector average.

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Number of Social-workers Social workers

There were 17,000 social workers employed by local authority adult social service departments across England as at September 2018 , 1,000 in the independent sector and around 2,400 in the NHS.

The number of social workers employed by local authorities in England increased by 4.7% from 16,200 to 17,000 between 2017 and 2018 – this figure had been stable at around 16,000 since 2011.

The wider local authority employed social care workforce has decreased by around 30% since 2011.  

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Number of registered Nurses in social care Registered nurses

As at 2017, there were 42,000 registered nurse jobs in the sector. They were one of the only jobs to see a significant decrease since 2012 (down 9,500 jobs or 18%).

This could be related to the recruitment and retention problem facing employers of registered nurses. 32% of nurses are estimated to have left their role within the past 12 months. 

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