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Adult social services: new council workforce figures released

11 February 2015: Statistics on staff employed by adult social service departments are published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

*HSCIC must be credited as the source of the figures in this release*

Personal Social Services: Staff of Social Services Departments, England, as at September 2014 looks at social services posts in local councils2, but does not include information on the much larger group of social care staff not employed by councils, such as those working for charities and private companies, some of whom may be employed under council outsourcing arrangements3.

The report shows that two thirds of councils in England reduced the number of posts in their adult social service departments between 2013 and 2014.

Today's report shows that in September 2014 there were 130,1004 jobs in adult social services in councils in England. This represented an overall decrease of 10,600 (eight per cent) from 140,700 posts in September 2013. Since 20115 the total number of council adult social services jobs has decreased from 159,400 at a fairly constant rate of approximately 10,000 jobs per year.

Of the 152 English councils responsible for adult social services, 101 reduced the number of adult social services jobs between 2013 and 2014, another 46 saw an increase, and the remaining five reported no change.

This year the report provides more comprehensive information on the reasons for changes in the number of posts. Among the 76 councils which gave reasons6 for reductions, the top reason was restructure (cited by 54 councils as a factor in the reduction of 6,300 jobs), followed by outsourcing (18 councils, 4,500 jobs) and then redundancies (16 councils, 2,400 jobs).

The report also shows:

  • Over a quarter (28 per cent) of jobs were filled by workers aged 55 or over. The average age of the workforce in 2014 was 47 years old, unchanged since 2011.
  • Women made up 82 per cent7 of the adult social services workforce in 2014, a proportion that is unchanged from 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  • The majority (86 per cent) of the workforce was white, with 14 per cent from black and minority ethnic groups.

Read the full report here:


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). The trusted source of authoritative data and information relating to health and care, HSCIC plays a fundamental role in driving better care, better services and better outcomes for patients. It supports the delivery of IT infrastructure, information systems and standards to ensure information flows efficiently and securely across the health and social care system to improve patient outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 220 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. The statistics published today by the HSCIC include jobs recorded by the local authority as 'directly employed' (permanent, temporary or apprentices) and 'indirectly employed' (agency, bank/pool, student, volunteer and apprentices who are not directly employed).

3. The National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC), published by Skills for Care, indicates that the private and voluntary sector employed at least 560,000 individuals at September 2014. For more see:

4. Numbers of jobs are rounded to the nearest 100, percentages to the nearest whole number.

5. Figures can be compared back to 2011, but not further due to a change at this point in the way the data was collected.

6. Councils with a change in their number of jobs of 5 per cent or more between 2013 and 2014 were required to provide reasons for the change. There were 62 councils that had a reduction at or above this level and an additional 14 with smaller reductions also gave reasons, making a total of 76 councils providing reasons. Some councils gave more than one reason for changes in the number of posts.

7. Data on the gender, age and ethnicity are based on estimates and therefore no numbers are available for these proportions.

8. For media enquires please call 0300 30 33 888 or email

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