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


Published October 2019

This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the adult social care workforce in England and the characteristics of the 1.49 million people working in it.

Topics covered include: employment information, recruitment and retention, demographics, pay, qualification rates and future workforce forecasts.

Download a copy of the report and the infographic showing all the key findings.


Interactive visualisations

The interactive visualisation below contains all the latest information on the adult social care workforce in England, 2019.

  • You can also download a PDF or PowerPoint version by clicking on the arrow found at the bottom right of the visualisation
  • If you require data that isn’t available in the visualisation or report below, please contact us.


This dashboard is best viewed on a desktop computer. You can view the dashboard here


Key findings 

  • The estimated turnover rate of directly employed staff working in the adult social care sector was 30.8%, equivalent to approximately 440,000 leavers over the year. 
  • It is estimated that 7.8% of the roles in adult social care are vacant, equal to approximately 122,000 vacancies at any time.
  • Around a quarter of the workforce (24%) were on a zero-hours contract (370,000 jobs). Almost half (43%) of the domiciliary care workforce were on zero-hours contracts. This proportion was even higher for care workers in domiciliary care services (58%).
  • The average number of sickness days was 4.8, this equates to approximately 6.94 million days lost to sickness in the past 12 months.
  • The majority (84%) of the adult social care workforce were British, 8% (115,000 jobs) had an EU nationality and 9% (134,000 jobs) a non-EU nationality.
  • Since the introduction of the mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) care worker pay in the independent sector has increased at a higher rate than previous years.
  • Care workers in the bottom 10% of the pay distribution benefitted the most from the introduction of the NLW (an increase of 9.4%) whereas the pay for the top 40% of earners increased at a slower rate.



Further resources

  • Also available at England level is the size and structure report, which includes the size of the workforce split into detailed categories and number of employers.
  • At regional level are nine annual reports, providing an overview of adult social care services and the workforce in each region.

If you cannot find what you are looking for or would like to commission our services, then please contact us.