Employment by occupation

Published

Last updated 30 September 2020 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2018, 21% of workers in the UK were in ‘professional’ jobs – the highest percentage out of all types of occupation
  • 33% of workers from the Indian ethnic group were in 'professional' jobs, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups in this role
  • 11% of both Indian and White British workers were in 'manager, director or senior official' jobs, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups in this role
  • the percentage of workers in 'elementary' jobs – the lowest skilled type of occupation – was highest in the Black (16%) and White Other (15%) ethnic groups

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the percentage of people from each ethnic group who work in particular types of occupation. It includes both employees and people who are self-employed.

The types of occupation and the qualifications, training and experience needed for them come from the standard occupational classification from 2010.

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 have been withheld from results for all groups. This is to protect respondents’ confidentiality, and because the numbers involved are too small to draw any reliable conclusions.

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 White British people and all other White people (‘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’.

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document for the data used on this page.

The data for this analysis comes from the Annual Population Survey. Find out more about interpreting survey data, including how reliability is affected by the number of people surveyed. You can also see how weighting is used to make data more representative.

In the data file

See Download the data for:

  • data for the years 2004 to 2018
  • confidence intervals – read more about how we use confidence intervals to determine the reliability of survey data

3. By ethnicity and type of occupation

Percentage of workers in each ethnic group employed in different types of occupation
Occupation All Asian Indian Pakistani, Bangladeshi Asian Other Black Mixed White White British White Other Other
% % % % % % % % % % %
Managers, Directors and Senior Officials 11 10 11 8 9 5 9 11 11 10 10
Professional 21 27 33 18 29 21 23 20 20 21 21
Associate Professional and Technical 15 12 14 10 11 12 19 15 15 13 12
Administrative and Secretarial 10 9 9 8 9 9 9 10 11 8 7
Skilled Trades 10 6 5 7 6 6 6 11 11 10 10
Caring, Leisure and Other Service 9 8 7 8 9 18 9 9 9 7 9
Sales and Customer Service 8 10 7 14 9 7 9 7 8 5 7
Process, Plant and Machine Operatives 6 9 5 15 5 7 5 6 6 10 8
Elementary 10 11 9 12 12 16 12 10 10 15 15

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and type of occupation’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and type of occupation’ (CSV)

Summary of Employment by occupation By ethnicity and type of occupation Summary

This data shows that:

  • 21% of workers in the UK were in ‘professional’ jobs, making it the most common type of occupation
  • 10% of workers were in ‘elementary’ jobs, the lowest skilled type of occupation
  • the percentage of workers in ‘elementary’ jobs was highest in the Black (16%) and White Other (15%) ethnic groups
  • 33% of workers from the Indian ethnic group were in 'professional' jobs, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had the lowest percentage of workers in 'professional' jobs (18%)
  • 41% of workers from the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group were in the 3 least skilled types of occupation (‘elementary’, ‘sales and consumer services’ and ‘process, plants and machine operatives’ jobs), up from 38% in 2017
  • 18% of Black workers were in ‘caring, leisure and other services’ jobs, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • 11% of both Indian and White British workers were in 'manager, director or senior official' jobs, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • the Black ethnic group had the lowest percentage of workers in 'manager, director or senior official' jobs (5%)

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative and survey data

Type of statistic

Non-official statistics

Publisher

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Publication frequency

Ad-hoc

Purpose of data source

The Start Up Loans Company’s administrative data is used to monitor the success of Start Up Loans in reaching disadvantaged groups.

5. Download the data

Employment by Occupation - Spreadsheet (csv) 241 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, denominator, numerator, confidence intervals