Employment by sector
Last updated 3 August 2021 - see all updates
1. Main facts and figures
This page will not be updated with 2020 data. This is because the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is reweighting the data we use for this page, to account for the effects of population changes and COVID-19 on labour market statistics.
- 30.2% of workers in the UK worked in the public administration, education and health sector in 2018 – the highest percentage out of all sectors
- the public administration, education and health sector employed the highest percentage of workers in almost every ethnic group
- the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic group had a higher percentage of workers in the distribution, hotels and restaurants sector than any other ethnic group (30.7%)
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data measures the percentage of people from each ethnic group who work in a particular industry or sector in the UK. It includes both employed and self-employed people.
Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal point. This means some totals may not add up to 100%.
Not included in the data
Data based on fewer than 3 responses is not included to protect respondents’ confidentiality, and because the numbers involved are too small to make reliable conclusions.
The ethnic groups used in the data
In most cases, the figures shown on this page are for aggregated ethnic groups. For example, the Black ethnic group includes people from Black Caribbean, Black African and other Black backgrounds.
Separate figures are shown for 3 Asian ethnic groups:
- Pakistani and Bangladeshi (combined)
- Asian Other
This reflects the different employment-related outcomes between different Asian ethnic groups.
Separate figures are also shown for 2 White ethnic groups:
- White British
- White Other
This data uses the ‘UK SIC 2007’ list. This means that some of the data may not be comparable before and after January 2009.
In the data file
See download the data for:
- data for the years 2004 to 2018
- numbers rounded to the nearest 100
- confidence intervals – read more about how we use confidence intervals to determine the reliability of survey data
3. By ethnicity
|Industry||All||Asian||Indian||Pakistani, Bangladeshi||Asian Other||Black||Mixed||White||White British||White Other||Other|
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing||1.1||0.1||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||1.2||1.3||0.8||0.3|
|Banking and finance||17.5||18.1||20.5||14.6||19.0||16.7||20.1||17.4||17.1||19.5||20.9|
|Distribution, hotels and restaurants||18.2||24.2||18.6||30.7||24.7||14.9||20.4||17.8||17.5||19.9||23.7|
|Energy and water||1.7||0.7||0.8||0.6||0.7||0.9||0.7||1.9||2.0||1.3||1.1|
|Public admin, education and health||30.2||27.5||26.8||25.2||31.7||43.6||28.3||30.1||31.0||22.6||22.5|
|Transport and communication||9.1||16.1||17.7||17.8||11.1||9.7||10.3||8.4||8.1||11.3||12.4|
Summary of Employment by sector By ethnicity Summary
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 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 government to monitor estimates on a range of issues between Censuses.
5. Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value, denominator, numerator, confidence intervals