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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Personal Social Services: Staff of Social Services Departments at 30 September - England, 2014

National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Local Authorities, Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs)
Date Range:
01 Oct 2013 to 30 Sep 2014


This report contains information on staff employed directly and indirectly by adult social services departments in England as at September 2014. Directly employed jobs are those recorded by the local authority as permanent, temporary or apprentices (directly employed) in the NMDS-SC. Indirectly employed jobs are those recorded by the local authority as agency, bank / pool, student, volunteer, apprentices (not directly employed) or other in the NMDS-SC. Further details on the definition of directly and indirectly employed job roles are provided in Annex C.

It will be of interest to central government (for policy development, monitoring and workforce planning), local government (for benchmarking), charities, academics and the general public. The report does not include information on staff employed in the independent sector (private and voluntary) or children's social services departments published separately by the Department for Education).

This report has used data collected by the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) for the past four years (from 2011). The NMDS-SC is managed by Skills for Care (SfC) on behalf of the Department of Health and has been collecting information about social care providers and their staff since early 2006.

Before 2011 the data source used for this report was the Health and Social Care Information Centre's 'Personal Social Services Staff of Social Services Departments' return (SSDS001). Following a user-wide consultation it was decided that the NMDS-SC would replace the SSDS001 from September 2011 as the adult social care workforce data return for councils.

The NMDS-SC data in this report are not directly comparable with data from the SSDS001 because the SSDS001 covered both adults' and children's services and this report focuses solely on adults. The adult job classifications are also very different between the two sources. Trends prior to 2011 are therefore not provided in this report.


  • As at September 2014 there were 130,100 adult social services jobs in councils in England. There was an overall decrease of 10,600 council adult social services jobs between 2013 and 2014 (an eight per cent decrease from 140,700 jobs in 2013).
  • For around two-thirds of councils (101 out of 152) the number of adult social services jobs reduced between 2013 and 2014. Of these councils, 39 saw a small reduction (less than five per cent) and 62 saw a larger reduction (five per cent or more). Despite the overall number of adult social services jobs decreasing, 46 councils increased their number of adult social services jobs over the period (20 by less than five per cent and 26 by five per cent or more). Councils with a change in their number of jobs of five per cent or more between 2013 and 2014 were required to provide reasons for the change. Of the 101 councils that saw a decrease in their number of jobs, 25 saw a change of less than five per cent and did not provide a reason (14 councils with a reduction of less than five per cent provided reasons). Some councils provided more than one reason for the decrease and have therefore been counted more than once. Of the 76 councils that did provide reasons the top three most commonly cited reasons were;
    • Restructures - 54 councils gave this as a contributing factor for their associated reduction of 6,300 jobs 
    • Outsourcing - 18 councils / 4,500 jobs
    • Redundancies - 16 councils / 2,400 jobs
  • The total number of council-based adult social services jobs decreased year-on-year between 2011 and 2014 at a fairly constant rate (by approximately 10,000 jobs per year). The total decrease between 2011 (when the total number of jobs was 159,400) and 2014 was 18 per cent or 29,300 jobs.
  • 82 per cent of the 130,100 adult social services jobs in 2014 were carried out by female workers and 18 per cent by male workers. These proportions were unchanged from 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  • The average age of workers in adult social services jobs in 2014 was 47 years old. This is unchanged since 2011. The average age differed slightly by job role group, with workers in managerial jobs and direct care jobs having a marginally older average age of 48 years and workers in professional roles being slightly younger on average (45 years old). Over a quarter of jobs (28 per cent) were filled by workers aged 55 or over. The relatively high percentage of workers being aged 55 or over also contributes to the reasons workers leave. Retirement was a common reason for leaving employment as recorded in the NMDS-SC. NMDS-SC reasons for leaving data collected on a voluntary basis showed for 2,200 out of the 8,500 leaver records (26 per cent), retirement was given as the reason for leaving.
  • The majority (86 per cent) of the 130,100 adult social services jobs in 2014 were carried out by White workers, 14 per cent were carried out by workers from Black and Minority Ethnic groups. Ethnicity distribution differed by job role group. The percentage of jobs carried out by White workers was higher for managerial roles at 89 per cent while the percentage of jobs carried out by those from Black and Minority Ethnic groups was highest for professional job roles at 19 per cent.


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Last edited: 14 September 2020 3:33 pm