Employment by occupation
1. Main facts and figures
25.7% of workers in the UK were in ‘professional’ jobs in 2021, making it the type of occupation with the highest percentage of workers
39.8% of workers from the Indian ethnic group were in 'professional' jobs – the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups in this type of occupation
13.5% of white Irish workers and 11.1% of workers from mixed ethnic groups were in ‘manager, director or senior official’ jobs – the occupation associated with the highest socio-economic circumstances
13.2% of black workers and 12.4% of workers from the white other ethnic group were in 'elementary' jobs – the least skilled type of occupation
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data measures the percentage of people from different ethnic groups who work in particular types of occupation. It includes people who are employed and self-employed.
The types of occupation come from the standard occupational classification 2020.
ONS has found an issue with the collection of some of the occupational data. This affects the accuracy of the breakdowns of some detailed occupations, and data derived from them.
Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number, so some totals may not add up to 100%.
Not included in the data
Data based on fewer than 3 responses is not shown. This is to protect people’s confidentiality and because the numbers involved are too small to make reliable generalisations.
The ethnic groups used in the data
The data uses the ethnic categories from the 2011 Census.
Data is aggregated for the black, mixed and other ethnic groups, which means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole.
Data is shown separately for the white British and white Irish groups and all other white groups are combined(‘white other’ ethnic group). Separate figures are also shown for 3 different Asian ethnic groups (Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi combined, and Asian other).
People whose ethnicity is not known are included in the figures for ‘All’.
Read the detailed methodology document for the data used on this page.
The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about:
interpreting survey data, including how reliability is affected by the number of people surveyed
how weighting is used to make survey data more representative of the whole group being studied
In the data file
See Download the data for:
data for 2004 to 2021
confidence intervals – read more about how we use confidence intervals to determine the reliability of survey data
3. By ethnicity and type of occupation
|Occupation||All||Asian||Indian||Pakistani, Bangladeshi||Other Asian||Black||Mixed||White||White British||White Irish||White Other||Other|
|Managers, Directors And Senior Officials||10.3||9.0||10.6||8.1||7.2||4.6||11.1||10.7||10.7||13.5||10.8||8.8|
|Associate Professional And Technical Occupations||14.6||12.2||12.9||11.9||11.3||13.9||15.4||15.0||15.1||15.2||13.4||10.1|
|Administrative And Secretarial Occupations||10.6||10.3||9.7||12.7||8.5||9.7||11.1||10.6||10.8||8.1||9.1||9.0|
|Skilled Trades Occupations||8.9||5.3||3.9||6.1||6.7||4.3||6.3||9.4||9.5||6.8||8.7||4.7|
|Caring, Leisure And Other Service Occupations||8.1||7.0||6.0||5.4||10.3||18.5||6.4||7.7||7.9||7.3||6.0||12.3|
|Sales And Customer Service Occupations||6.8||7.8||5.8||11.5||6.8||5.6||9.5||6.7||6.9||3.6||4.6||6.4|
|Process, Plant And Machine Operatives||5.6||6.4||4.5||10.7||5.0||5.5||3.6||5.6||5.4||3.6||7.4||5.4|
Summary of Employment by occupation By ethnicity and type of occupation Summary
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
Note on corrections or updates
Higher-level figures may differ from those published by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Office for National Statistics that use the Labour Force Survey.
Purpose of data source
The Annual Population Survey (APS) is the largest ongoing household survey in the UK and covers a range of topics, including:
- personal characteristics
- labour market status
- work characteristics
The purpose of the APS is to provide information on important social and socio-economic variables at local levels, such as labour market estimates.
The published statistics also allow the government to monitor estimates on a range of issues between censuses.
5. Download the data
This file contains the following variables: Measure, Time, Time_type, Ethnicity, Occupation, Occupation_Type, Value, Value_type, Denominator, Numerator, CI