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Adult social care 'worth £38.5bn to economy'

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The adult social care sector is worth an estimated £38.5m to the economy in England, according to research published today.

Analysis commissioned by Skills for Care found there were 962,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in the sector in 2016, with most providing domiciliary care, and an additional 65,800 FTE positions filled by individuals employing personal assistants.

A total of 1.5 million people were employed in the sector across more than 40,000 sites. The NHS had a workforce of 1.2m people in 2017, according to NHS digital figures.

The social care workforce represented 6% of total employment in England in 2016, while the average annual wage was £17,300.

The analysis firstly identified a gross value added (GVA) generated by social care employers including wages to staff of £20.3bn.

Secondly, the analysis estimated a £8.9bn GVA created by the sector in its supply chain through the purchase of services such as cleaning or food supplies.

The third measure found £9.3bn was generated by those employed both directly and indirectly in the sector spending their wages to give a total of 38.5bn.

Responding to the research, which was carried out by ICF Consulting, Skills for Care chief executive Sharon Allen said: “This report’s real strength is that it provides evidence about what we have always believed anecdotally about the significant economic contribution made by a sector that provides 6% of total employment in England.

“The findings in this report underline the importance of social care not only as a provider of services to our fellow citizens when they most need it, but our vital role as a provider of jobs in local economies across the country where much of the money is spent.”

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