Workforce intelligence > Publications

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



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

These 1.52 million people are carrying out 1.65 million jobs, which are spread over 18,200 organisations and 38,000 establishments.                                                                    

Size and structure page


The workforce continues to grow and has increased by 1%, 17,000 jobs between 2018/19 and 2019/20. The size and structure report shows the breakdown for different job roles and service types.

Size and structure page

DemandDemand in the future

The population aged 65 and above is projected to grow by 32% by 2035.  If the workforce grows at the same rate, then an additional 520,000 jobs will be required to meet this demand.

Size and structure page

VacanciesNumber of vacancies

There are over 122,000 vacancies. That's 7.8% of roles vacant at any given time in our sector.

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


Recruitment and retention page

Turnover-ratesTurnover rate

We estimate that the turnover rate of the sector is 30.8%.  This equates to 440,000 leavers in the past twelve months.  66% 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 two PAs each and there were an estimated 135,000 PA jobs in 2019.


Personal assistants page

Economic-contributionEconomic contribution

The adult social care sector contributes £40.5 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.


Economic value page

Age Age

A quarter of workers were aged 55 and over (385,000), 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 (35%) and registered managers (31%).


State of the workforce page

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. 



Recruitment and retention page

Pay in adult social carePay

The median hourly rate for a care worker in the independent sector was £8.10 as at March 2019. The pay gap between the most and least experienced care workers has narrowed from 30p in 2016 to 15p.

In March 2019, 28% of care workers were paid the minimum compared to 17% in March 2016.


Pay rates page

Nationality Nationality

In 2018/19 84% of the adult social care workforce were British, 8% (115,000 jobs) had an EU nationality and 9% (134,000 jobs) had a non-EU nationality.

Find information on the nationality of the care workforce, trends over time and what has changed since the referendum.


Workforce nationality page


In an given month in 2017/18 there were, on average, around 73,200 active apprentices in the adult social care workforce.

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


Apprenticeships page

Number of Registered-managers in social care sector Registered managers

There are 22,500 registered managers in the sector.

77% had been in the sector for 10 or more years, and averaged 7.9 years in their current role. Around 22% left their roles in the past 12 months.

The vacancy rate of 11.4% was higher than the sector average.                                                                               


Registered managers page

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, 950 in the independent sector and around 2,500 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.


Social work page

Nurses Registered nurses

As at 2018, there were 41,000 registered nurse jobs in the sector. They were one of the only jobs to see a significant decrease since 2012 (down 10,400 jobs or 20%).

This could be related to the recruitment and retention problem facing employers of registered nurses. 34% of nurses are estimated to have left their role within the past 12 months. 


Registered nurses page


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