Employment by sector

Published

Last updated 28 August 2020 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • 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:

  • Indian
  • 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

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology documents for the Labour Force Survey and Annual Population Survey.

This data uses the ‘UK SIC 2007’ list. This means that some of the data may not be comparable before and after January 2009.

The estimates on this page are based on survey data. See more about interpreting survey data, and 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
  • 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

Percentage of workers in each ethnic group employed by different sectors
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
Construction 7.2 3.0 3.8 2.5 2.3 4.0 4.1 7.7 7.7 7.6 5.1
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
Manufacturing 9.0 6.1 8.0 4.6 4.7 4.6 7.5 9.5 9.2 11.4 6.9
Other services 6.0 4.3 3.7 4.0 5.6 5.5 8.6 6.0 6.1 5.6 7.2
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

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Employment by sector By ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • 30.2% of all workers in the UK worked in public administration, education and health in 2018
  • in almost every ethnic group, the largest percentage of workers were employed in this sector
  • the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi (30.7%) and Other (23.7%) ethnic groups had the highest percentage of workers in the distribution, hotels and restaurants sector
  • Black workers had the highest percentage of any ethnic group working in public administration, education and health (43.6%)
  • White workers had the highest percentage working in construction (7.7%)

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Yearly

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
  • education
  • health

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

Employment by Sector - Spreadsheet (csv) 220 KB

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