Social care workforce decrease

image of staffing shortages through a magnifying glass

Skills for Care has published their report, the size and structure of the adult social care workforce.
For the first time since figures were recorded the adult social care workforce has shrunk.

The figures back up at a national level what you were experiencing individually. Last year was the hardest ever for recruitment and this year is even worse.

Key findings:

  • The total number of posts in adult social care in England (including filled posts and staff vacancies) was 1.79m as at 2021/22 (this was 0.3% higher than in 2020/21).
  • The number of filled posts was estimated at 1.62 million and the number of vacant posts was 165,000.
  • The number of filled posts has decreased by around 3% (50,000) between 2020/21 and 2021/22; the only annual decrease since records began in 2012/13.
  • Over the same period the number of vacant posts has increased (by 55,000 or 52%) which shows that the decrease in filled posts is a result of recruitment and retention difficulties rather than a decrease in demand for care staff.
  • The decrease in filled posts and corresponding increase in vacancies across adult social care comes as the wider economy has reopened following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) filled posts was estimated at 1.17 million and the number of people working in adult social care was estimated at 1.50 million.
  • An estimated 17,900 organisations were involved in providing or organising adult social care in England as at 2021/22. Those services were delivered in an estimated 39,000 establishments

Read about this and more in our weekly Wednesday digest for 27 July