Skip to main content

The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England 2018

This report provides information about the adult social care sector including its size and shape, employment information, recruitment and retention issues, workforce demographics, pay, qualification rates and future workforce forecasts. Skills for Care, as the leading source of adult social care workforce intelligence, helps to create a better-led, skilled and valued adult social care workforce. We provide practical tools and support to help adult social care organisations in England recruit, retain, develop and lead their workforce. We work with employers and related services to ensure dignity and respect are at the heart of service delivery.

The National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) is an online workforce data collection system for the adult social care sector. NMDS-SC online was launched in 2007 and has now been collecting workforce intelligence about the sector for over a decade.

Adult social care is a growing sector that, in 2017, had around 21,200 organisations with 41,000 care providing locations and a workforce of around 1.6 million jobs. The number of full-time equivalent jobs was estimated at 1.13 million and the number of people working in adult social care was estimated at 1.47 million.

The adult social care sector was estimated to contribute £38.5 billion per annum to the economy in England. The total wage bill of the sector, calculated using NMDS-SC information, accounted for around half of this amount at £19.4 billion in 2017/18 (up 17% from 2011/12).