Adult social care workforce estimates

Skills for Care believes that reliable information is key to all those who make decisions regarding adult social care. It is crucial that the sector has clear, robust evidence about its workforce. Good quality information about care services and the workforce is vital for effective planning and improving outcomes for people who use these services, both now and in the future. 

Skills for Care uses data from the NMDS-SC as a basis for creating estimates of the size, structure and characteristics of the whole adult social care workforce. The 2017 adult social care workforce estimates are as at 2016/17. NMDS-SC data is as at March 2017 for the independent sector and September 2016 for local authorities. New estimates are published each year.

The workforce estimates

Adult social care is a growing sector. In 2016 the adult social care sector comprised of 20,300 organisations, 40,400 care providing locations and a workforce of around 1.55 million jobs, of which 1.34 million were within local authority and independent sector providers. The number of full-time equivalent jobs was estimated at 1.11 million and the number of people working in adult social care was estimated at 1.45 million 

Click here to download the workforce estimates

Topics include size and structure of the workforce, recruitment and retention, employment information, demographics, pay, qualifications and training information.

These published estimates are available at an England and regional level.

Need more information?

For bespoke analysis of workforce information at local level or to answer any specific questions you have about the adult social care workforce please contact

Examples topics include: workforce size and structure, employment patterns, provision of care for people with learning disabilities, dementia, mental health issues etc., recruitment and retention issues, workforce demographics, pay, qualification rates, future workforce forecasts and trend information.  All available at the geographical level most relevant to your needs.