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Local government workforce summary data - November 2023

This summary of local government workforce data looks primarily at the directly employed workforce. The data comes from multiple sources, therefore dates will vary. Additional data on teachers and the mainly-commissioned social care workforce are also summarised for convenience.


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Workforce numbers and breakdown

ONS Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (QPSES)
England & Wales
Q4 2022

  • Head Count
    • Q4 2012: 1,894,696
    • Q4 2022: 1,195,898
    • % change since Q4 2012: -36.8%
  • Full Time Equivalent (FTE)
    • Q4 2012: 1,336,411
    • Q4 2022: 912,991
    • % change since Q4 2012: -31.7%
  • Female
    • Q4 2012: 1,439,784
    • Q4 2022: 891,861
    • % change since Q4 2012: -38.1%
  • Male
    • Q4 2012: 454,912
    • Q4 2022: 304,035
    • % change since Q4 2012: -22.4%
  • Part-time
    • Q4 2012: 1,003,100
    • Q4 2022: 690,000
    • % change since Q4 2012: -31.2%
  • Full-time
    • Q4 2012: 826,100
    • Q4 2022: 666,800
    • % change since Q4 2012: -19.3%
  • Temporary/Casual
    • Q4 2012: 259,400
    • Q4 2022: 151,500
    • % change since Q4 2012: -41.6%
  • Permanent
    • Q4 2012: 1,569,700
    • Q4 2022: 1,205,300
    • % change since Q4 2012: -23.2%

Pay bill

Local Government Sector Pay Offer
England and Wales
2023

  • Basic Pay: £18.1 billion
  • Total Gross: £18.6 billion

Median pay rates

LGA Earnings Survey
England and Wales
2019/20

  • Full-time staff: £28,947 (from £25,520 in 2014/15)
  • Part-time staff: £20,164 (from £17,280 in 2014/15)

Employee ethnicity

LGA Earnings Survey
England and Wales
2019/20

  • Asian employees: 3.8%
  • Black employees: 4.3%
  • Mixed ethnicity employees: 1.4%
  • Other ethnicity employees: 0.6%
  • White employees: 89.9%

Employee age

LGA Earnings Survey
England and Wales
2019/20

  • Under 25: 4.6%
  • 25 to 39: 24.8%
  • 40 to 64: 66.9%
  • Over 65: 3.5%
  • Not known: 0.2%

Employee disability

LGA Earnings Survey
England and Wales
2019/20

  • Not disabled: 61.8% (95% excluding “unknown”)
  • Disabled: 3.3% (5% excluding “unknown”)
  • Unknown: 35.0%
  • Note: the LGA Earnings Survey results exclude teachers and firefighters.

Gender pay gap

Government Equalities Office, Statutory Return
England
2022/23

  • Mean: 4.1%
  • Range: -18.8% (women paid more) TO 24.3% (women paid less)
  • On average by number of authorities:
  • Women were paid less than men in 77% (227) (see technical note 3)
  • The pay gap was zero in less than 1% (2) (see technical note 3)
  • Women were paid more than men in 22% (66) (see technical note 3)

Technical note 1: ACAS explains that mean averages are useful because they place the same value on every number they use, giving a good overall indication of the gender pay gap, but very large or small pay rates or bonuses can ‘dominate’ and distort the answer. For example, mean averages can be useful where most employees in an organisation receive a bonus but could less useful in an organisation where the vast majority of bonus pay is received by a small number of board members.

  • Median: 2.5%
  • Range: -36.9% (women paid more) TO 29.9% (women paid less)
  • On average by number of authorities:
  • Women were paid less than men in 5761% (167) (see technical note 3)
  • The pay gap was zero in 13% (38) (see technical note 3)
  • Women were paid more than men in 30% (90) (see technical note 3)

Technical note 2: Median averages are useful to indicate what the ‘typical’ situation is i.e. in the middle of an organisation and are not distorted by very large or small pay rates or bonuses. However, this means that not all gender pay gap issues will be picked up. For example, a median average might show a better indication of the ‘middle of the road’ pay gap in a sports club with a mean average distorted by very highly paid players and board members, but it could also fail to pick up as effectively where the pay gap issues are most pronounced in the lowest paid or highest paid employees.

Technical note 3: 36 authorities (~11 per cent) had not provided gender pay gap data for 2020/21. These percentages are based on the 289 authorities which had provided data.

Pay and reward system

LGA Workforce Survey
England
2022

  • Automatic annual increments (or simple annual incremental progression) is used by 77% of councils for the majority of their staff

Recruitment and retention

LGA Workforce Survey
England
2022

  • Recruitment and retention difficulties were experienced by: 94% of councils
  • The two most common recruitment and retention difficulties were: making no substantive changes to staffing numbers (52%) and increasing apprenticeships (39%)

Labour turnover

LGA Workforce Survey
England
2022

Median Vacancy Rate:

  • 2015/16: 9%
  • 2016/17: 10%
  • 2017/18: 10%
  • 2018/19: 13%
  • 2019/20: 10%
  • 2020/21: 15%

Median Labour Turnover Rate:

  • 2015/16: 13%
  • 2016/17: 13%
  • 2017/18: 13%
  • 2018/19: 13%
  • 2019/20: 9%
  • 2020/21: 14%

Capacity skills gap

LGA Workforce Survey
England
Capacity 

  • The top three capacity skills gaps are managing change (58%), people management (58%), and supporting commerciality (58%)

Capability

  • The top three capacity skills gaps are people management (57%), managing change (56%), and supporting digitalisation/use of technology (48%)

Sickness absence

LGA Workforce Survey
England
2021/22

  • Average percentage of days lost due to sickness: 2021/22: 4.3% (8.7 days per FTE)

Senior officer ethnicity

LGA Chief Executives and Chief Officers Survey
England
2018

  • Asian senior officers: 2.5%
  • Black senior officers: 2.3%
  • Mixed ethnicity senior officers: 1.0%
  • Undeclared ethnicity senior officers: 11.8%
  • White senior officers: 82.4%

Senior officer age profile

LGA Chief Executives and Chief Officers Survey
England
2018

  • Mean: 50.6
  • Median: 51.6

Senior officer gender

LGA Chief Executives and Chief Officers Survey
England
2018

  • Female: 46.8%
  • Male: 52.7%
  • Prefer not to say: 0.2%

Note: a chief officer is any officer whose contract relates to the Joint National Council handbook for Chief Officers. The officers falling into this group will vary locally although there are some statutory Chief Officer posts.

LGPS income and expenditure

MHCLG Local Government Finance Release
England
2021/22

Like-for-like changes removing the effects of mergers and large transfers.

Income

  • 2018/19: £17.4bn
  • 2021/22: £14.9bn
  • Decrease: £2.5(14%)

Expenditure

  • 2018/19: £12.7bn
  • 2021/22: £13.6bn
  • Increase: £0.9bn (7%)

LGPS members

MHCLG Local Government Finance Release
England
2021/22

Note: Pension Scheme data is produced annually and importantly it covers all scheme membership without separating Local Government employees from the other public sector and other bodies. 

  • Total: 5.9m people
  • Current employees: 1.9m
  • Former employees: 2.2m
  • Pensioners: 1.9m

LGPS market value

MHCLG Local Government Finance Release
England
2021/22

  • Market value of the Local Government Pension Scheme in England at the end of March 2022: £341bn
  • A decrease of £25.4bn or 8.1%

LGPS retirements

MHCLG Local Government Finance Release
England
2021/22

  • Retirements from the Local Government Pension Scheme in England at the end of March 2022: 90,422
  • An increase of 11,331 OR 14.3%

Headcount

Teacher numbers
DfE Schools Workforce Census
England
2021/22

  • Headcount: 512,000
  • Full Time Equivalent: 466,000

Mean pay rates

DfE Schools Workforce Census
England
2022

  • 2022 mean salary of all teachers in state funded schools FTE: £42,358
  • 2020 mean salary of all teachers in state funded schools FTE: £41,799
  • 2022 median salary of all teachers in state funded schools FTE: £39,982

Working hours breakdown

DfE Schools Workforce Census
England
2022

 

  • Part-time head count:
    • Male staff: 10.7 thousand
    • Female staff: 112.2 thousand
  • Full-time head count:
    • Male staff: 110.7 thousand
    • Female staff: 274.6 thousand

Firefighter headcounts

Home Office Fire and Rescue Statistics
England
2023

  • Total firefighter headcount: 34,857
  • Wholetime firefighters: 22,815
  • On-call firefighters: 12,042

 

  • Total firefighter full-time equivalent: 30,723
  • Wholetime firefighters: 22,626
  • On-call firefighters: 8,097

Firefighter gender

Home Office Fire and Rescue Statistics
England
2023

  • Female: 8.6% (2,985)
  • Male: 89.2% (31,107)

Firefighter total pay bill

Firefighters Workforce Survey
England
2023

  • Full-time: £1,038,507,000

    Plus

  • Retained: £101,159,000

    Equals

  • Total pay bill: £1,139,666,000

Note: These pay bill estimates are based on the figures from the latest National Joint Council Survey, which have been increased in line with subsequent pay awards.

Firefighters mean pay rates

Firefighters’ Workforce Survey
England
2018

  • Full-time staff: £36,121
  • Retained staff: £7,667
  • Workforce average: £26,983

Police numbers

LGA Police Staff Survey
England
2023

  • Employees: 73,348
  • Full-time equivalent: 67,488

Police demographics

LGA Police Staff Survey
England
2023

  • Full-time: 76%
  • Female: 62%
  • White: 88%
  • Aged 35-54: 46%

Police pay bill

LGA Police Staff Survey
England
2023

  • Total basic pay bill: £2,037 million
  • Additional pay: £258 million (11%)
  • Total gross pay bill: £2,295 million

Note: this does not include employer costs, such as national insurance and pensions.

Care home jobs

Skills for Care Social Care Survey 
England
2022/23

  • Independent sector employees: 1,155,000
  • Direct payments employees: 130,000
  • Local authority employees: 113,900

Registered nurses

Skills for Care Social Care Survey
England
2022/23

  • Registered Nurses: 33,000
  • Down by 37% (5,600) since 2016/17

Jobs vs people

Skills for Care Social Care Survey
England
2022/23

  • FTE Jobs: 1.10 Million (filled posts)
  • Employees: 1.39 Million
  • Job Count: 1.79 million (up 0.5%, 10,000 jobs, since 2021/22)
  • Average vacancy rate: 9.9% (down from 10.7% in 2021/22)

Note: people may carry out more than one job in adult social care.

Job sector

Skills for Care Social Care Survey 
England
2022/23

Jobs for care homes with nursing:

  • 2009/10: 235,000
  • From 2009/10 to 2016/17: an increase of 23% or 55,000
  • 2016/17: 290,000
  • 2017/18: 285,000
  • 2018/19: 295,000
  • 2019/20: 285,000
  • 2020/21: 285,000
  • 2021/22: 270,000
  • 2022/23: 275,000

Social work scale

Skills for Care Social Care Survey 
England
2022/23

  • Organisations involved in providing or organising adult social care: 18,000
  • Establishments in which these services were delivered: 39,000

Direct payments

Skills for Care Social Care Survey 
England
2022/23

  • Recipients of Direct Payments (adults, older people and carers): 215,000
  • Those who employ their own staff: 32% (approximately 69,000)