Employment by occupation
Last updated 14 May 2019 - see all updates
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1. Main facts and figures
in 2017, 20% of workers in the UK were employed in ‘professional’ jobs, the highest percentage out of all types of occupation; 14% were employed in ‘associate professional and technical’ jobs, 11% in ‘elementary’ jobs, 11% as ‘managers, directors and senior officials’, 11% in ‘skilled trades’, 10% in ‘administrative and secretarial’ jobs, 9% in ‘caring, leisure and other services’, 8% in ‘sales and consumer service’ jobs, and 6% as ‘process, plant and machine operatives’
in 2017, the Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups had a higher than average percentage of their workforce in ‘elementary’ occupations, the lowest skilled type of occupation
the Indian ethnic group had the highest percentage of workers in ‘professional’ occupations out of all ethnic groups
The ethnic categories used in this data
Although data is collected for 18 ethnic groups, analysis by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is grouped under 6 broad ethnic categories:
- Black/Black British
- Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
- Other (which contains Chinese, other Asian and other ethnic groups)
Grouping in this way improves the reliability of the estimates and allows robust samples to be used.
This analysis distinguishes between the Indian ethnic group and the Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups (which are combined). This reflects the different employment-related outcomes among different Asian ethnic groups, and is in line with other publications on the official labour market statistics website, Nomis.
2. By ethnicity and type of occupation
|Occupation||All||Indian||Pakistani/Bangladeshi||Black||Mixed||White||Other inc Chinese and Other Asian|
|Administrative & secretarial||10||10||9||9||9||11||8|
|Associate professional & technical||14||13||10||13||17||15||11|
|Caring, leisure and other services||9||6||9||18||11||9||9|
|Managers, directors & senior officials||11||11||11||6||8||11||11|
|Process, plant & machine operatives||6||6||14||6||5||6||6|
|Sales & consumer service||8||9||13||8||10||7||8|
Summary of Employment by occupation By ethnicity and type of occupation Summary
The APS contains 12 months of survey data.
It combines data from 4 successive quarters of the Labour Force Survey with rolling-year data from the local labour force surveys for England, Wales and Scotland.
The sample size is approximately 320,000 respondents.
Interviews are carried out either face to face or by telephone.
Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.
For example, a survey which contains 25% females and 75% males will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know is around 50% male and 50% female.
Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable. Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.
The APS is weighted to reflect the size and composition of the general population, by using the most up-to-date official population data.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has suppressed:
- estimates and confidence intervals that have a group sample size smaller than 10
- estimates for where the number of people employed is less than 500
Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Totals may not add up to 100% because of this.
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
Purpose of data source
The Annual Population Survey (APS) is the largest household survey in the UK and covers topics, including:
- personal characteristics
- labour market status
- work characteristics
The purpose of the APS is to provide information on social and socio-economic variables at local levels, such as labour market estimates.
The published statistics also allow the government to monitor estimates between Censuses.
5. Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, denominator, numerator, confidence intervals