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Adult social services: number of adult social care staff employed by councils shrinks by a quarter since 2011

10 February 2016: The total number of council-based adult social services staff2 has decreased by 25 per cent over the last five years, according to new figures published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

*HSCIC must be cited as the source of these figures

*Information is available at local authority and regional level

A report summarising workforce trends shows that the number of council-based adult social services jobs has fallen from 159,4003 in 20114, the first year of comparable data, to 120,200 in 2015. This represents a reduction of 39,200 jobs, or 25 per cent over the period. Focusing specifically on movement between 2014 and 2015, the number adult social care jobs in councils decreased by eight per cent (9,900 jobs) from 130,100 reported in 2014. This is also the fourth consecutive reduction to the number of jobs of around 10,000 per year since 20115.

'Personal Social Services: Staff of Social Services Departments, England, as at September 2015' looks at social services employees directly employed by local councils. It 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 arrangements and where workforce numbers may have increased6.

Also comparing 2015 and 2014, around two-thirds of councils - 101 out of 152 - reduced the number of people directly working for them, with 657 of these reducing by more than five per cent. The top reason for the reductions was restructure, which was cited by 50 out of 75 responding councils as a factor in the reduction of 8,500 jobs. This was followed by outsourcing (cited by 21 councils for 5,900 jobs) and redundancies (20 councils for 2,600 jobs).

Today's report also shows:

  • Compared with 2014, 49 councils increased their number of adult social services jobs in 2015, with 27 of these councils seeing increases of more than five per cent
  • An estimated 82 per cent8 of the 120,200 adult social services jobs in 2015 were carried out by female workers and 18 per cent by male workers. These estimates remain unchanged since 2011.
  • The majority of council-based adult social services jobs in 2015 were carried out by white workers (an estimated 86 per cent), with black and minority ethnic (BME) groups accounting for an estimated 14 per cent of the council-based workforce9. Although these estimates remain unchanged from 2014, the estimated proportion of jobs carried out by BME workers has increased gradually from 12 per cent in 2011 and 2012 to 13 per cent in 2013 and finally to 14 per cent in the last two years.

Responsible statistician Stephen Jobling said: "Today's report shows that the number of jobs in adult social services based in councils continues to fall. Compared to the previous year, almost half of councils (65 of 152, or 43 per cent) saw a reduction of more than five per cent of social care jobs in 2015. For some councils though, the picture is somewhat different, with 27 councils seeing council-based jobs increase by more than five per cent.

"I hope that the information within the report will be useful to both councils and other organisations who provide adult social services on behalf of councils to those who need care and support."

Today's report can be found at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/pssstaffsept15

ENDS


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). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 260 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. Numbers of jobs are rounded to the nearest 100, percentages to the nearest whole number.
  4. Figures can be compared back to 2011, but not further due to a change at this point in the way the data was collected.
  5. In 2011, the number of adult social services posts based in councils was 159,400; 2012, 150,700 (percentage reduction from previous year five per cent); 2013, 140,700 (seven per cent); 2014, 130,100 (eight per cent) and 2015, 120,200 (eight per cent). 2011 total jobs are based on 138 councils (14 were estimated to produce a national total). 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 total jobs are based on 152 councils confirming their total number of jobs.
  6. 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 1,200,000 individuals at 2014. For more see: http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Documents/NMDS-SC-and-intelligence/NMDS-SC/Analysis-pages/The-size-and-structure-Report-2015.pdf.
  7. Councils with a change in their number of jobs of 5 per cent or more between 2014 and 2015 were required to provide reasons for the change. There were 65 councils that had a reduction at or above this level and an additional 10 with smaller reductions also gave reasons, making a total of 75 councils providing reasons. Some councils gave more than one reason for changes in the number of posts.
  8. Data for gender proportions are based on 152 councils but with less than 100 per cent employee completion.  As there is only limited regional variation however, no weighting is applied to take into account missing data. Percentages can therefore be treated as estimates for England although no numbers are provided. Further details on this methodology can be found in Annex A of the report.
  9. The percentage of White and Black and Minority group workers is based on 152 councils but with less than 100 per cent employee completion.  Due to regional variation, weightings are used to take into account missing data. Percentages can therefore be treated as an estimate for England although no numbers are provided. Further details on this methodology can be found in Annex A of the report.
  10. For media enquiries please contactmedia@hscic.gov.ukor call 0300 303 3888.
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