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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Three national reports are published annually which are the Size and structure, State of the workforce and the workforce employed by adult services departments in England report.  All 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-posts in social careHow many posts in adult social care

The total number of posts in adult social care in England (including 1.62 million filled posts and 165,000 staff vacancies) was 1.79m as at 2021/22. There are spread over 17,900 organisations and 39,000 establishments.                                                              

Size and structure page


The total number of posts was 0.3% higher than in 2020/21. The number of filled posts has decreased by around 3% (50,000) between 2020/21 and 2021/22, over the same period the number of vacant posts has increased (by 55,000 or 52%) which shows that the decrease in filled posts is a result of recruitment and retention difficulties rather than a decrease in demand for care staff.

Size and structure page

Demand-in-the-futureDemand in the future

The population aged 65 and above is projected to grow by 27% by 2035.  If the workforce grows at the same rate, then an additional 480,000 jobs will be required to meet this demand.

Size and structure page

Number-of-vacanciesNumber of vacancies

We estimate that there are 165,000 vacant posts. The number of vacant posts has increased (by 55,000 or 52%) since 2020/21. The increase in vacancies across adult social care comes as the wider economy has reopened following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Personal-assistantsPersonal assistants

Around 65,000 individuals employ their own staff using their direct payment. On average they employ 1.87 PAs each and there were an estimated 120,000 PA jobs in 2021/22.

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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