Adult social care employers contribute £46.2 billion to the UK economy each year, according to a recent report.
‘The Economic Value of the Adult Social Care Sector – UK’ paper was commissioned by Skills for Care and Development, who wanted to find out the true economic contribution of the sector.
The report discovered that the sector directly generated £24.3 billion, including wages paid to workers to fulfil a number of different roles.
A further £10.8 billion was found to be indirectly generated from the sector’s use of other services within the UK economy. Common examples of purchases made by the sector included cleaning products, food and medical supplies.
Meanwhile, the induced impact of the sector, resulting from those directly employed in the sector and those employed indirectly spending their wages in other sectors of the economy, was calculated at £11.1 billion.
These three measures were combined to produce a gross value added (GVA) of £46.2 billion.
The report said the sector supported 1.8 million jobs role, or 1.2 million full-time equivalents. This represented 6% of total employment, with the average full-time equivalent worker generating £19,700 of value towards the economy. In addition:
- Around 45,000 sites were involved in providing adult social care in the UK in 2016, with the majority providing residential care.
- Most of the adult social care workforce providing regulated services were employed at sites run by private sector providers.
Growing economic value
Skills for Care & Development chair, Dame Moira Gibb, said: “This is the first time we have produced a UK wide report into the economic value of adult social care and we find our sector injects billions into the national economy.”
“This report highlights the importance of social care not only as provider of services to our fellow citizens when they need it, but our sector’s importance as a provider of jobs in local economies across the country where much of the money is spent.”
Former chair of the UK Statistics Authority, Sir Andrew Dilnot, who also chaired the Commission on Funding of Care and Support, said:
“This report provides evidence about what we have always believed anecdotally about the significant economic contribution that adult social care makes across the UK.”
“I very much welcome the fact that this report covers the whole of the UK and hope it will help national policymakers recognise that a sector with 1.8 million job roles has not just a vital social value, but a growing economic one too.”