Adult Social Care’s Economic Contribution Increases To £40.5 Billion

CaringThe new figure was revealed in Skills for Care’s annual ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, 2019’ report using data from the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set supplied by thousands of employers.

The huge contribution the sector makes to the country’s wellbeing is underlined in the report with an estimated 18,500 organisations involved in providing or organising adult social care in England. Those services were delivered in an estimated 39,000 establishments embedded in their communities.

The report also showed that around 237,000 adults, older people and carers received direct payments from council’s social services departments in 2017/2018, and it is estimated that approximately 31% (75,000) of these recipients were employing their own staff.

Skills for Care Interim CEO Andy Tilden said: “This report using solid data supplied by employers shows that adult social care must now be factored into workforce and economic planning at a national, regional and local level.

“We know the outstanding work our workforce does in our communities day in, day out, but their £40.5 billion contribution means our growing sector is now a key driving force in the national economy. If we continue to deliver social care in the same way it is projected we may need to fill another 580,000 job roles by 2035 and that means our sector is only going to get bigger as demand for high quality care services continues to increase.”

Other key findings include:

The number of adult social care jobs was estimated to have increased by around 1.2% (19,000 jobs) between 2017 and 2018.

Since 2009 the number of adult social care jobs has increased by 22% (290,000 jobs).

The adult social care workforce was found to be 83% female, compared to 47% of the economically active population identifying as female.

Skills for Care estimates that the staff turnover rate of directly employed staff working in the adult social care sector was 30.8% in 2018/19. This equates to approximately 440,000 people leaving their jobs over the course of the year.

The majority (91%) of the adult social care workforce were employed on permanent contracts. Approximately half of the workforce (48%) worked on a full-time basis, 40% were part-time and the remaining 12% had no fixed hours.

Skills for Care estimates that 7.8% of roles in adult social care were vacant, equivalent to 122,000 vacancies at any one time.

Around 115,000 roles (8% of all jobs) were held by people with an EU nationality.

Workforce structure

Since 2009, the workforce has continued to shift away from local authority jobs (down 37% or 65,000 jobs) and towards independent sector jobs (up 30%, or 290,000 jobs).

The number of jobs in care homes with nursing services increased between 2009 and 2018 up 26%, (or 60,000 jobs).

Registered nurses were one of the only jobs in adult social care to see a significant decrease over the period (down 10,400, or 20%, since 2012/13).

To download ‘The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, 2019’ report and accompanying infographic, please go to