Employment by sector

Published

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.

  • 30.3% of workers in the UK worked in the public administration, education and health sector in 2019 – 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 (28.6%)

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

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 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:

In the data file

See download the data for:

  • data for the years 2004 to 2019
  • 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 and sector

Percentage of workers in each ethnic group employed by different sectors
Industry All Asian Black Indian Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups Other Asian (inc. Chinese) Other ethnic group Pakistani/ Bangladeshi White White British White Other
% % % % % % % % % % %
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 1.1 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 0.0 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 0.3 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 1.2 1.3 0.7
Banking and finance 17.6 18.7 18.2 21.6 18.9 20.4 20.7 13.8 17.4 17.0 20.3
Construction 7.2 3.0 4.0 3.5 4.9 2.4 4.6 2.7 7.7 7.7 8.0
Distribution, hotels and restaurants 18.1 23.4 15.2 17.4 20.7 26.6 22.6 28.6 17.6 17.3 20.1
Energy and water 1.7 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2 0.7 1.0 0.7 1.8 1.9 1.1
Manufacturing 9.0 6.8 4.9 8.5 6.8 5.4 6.7 5.8 9.4 9.2 11.1
Other services 5.9 4.3 4.5 3.3 6.4 6.6 6.3 3.7 6.1 6.2 5.3
Public administration, education and health 30.3 28.0 42.3 28.3 29.5 28.7 25.7 27.3 30.2 31.3 21.8
Transport and communication 9.1 14.8 9.9 16.3 11.6 9.1 12.2 17.3 8.6 8.2 11.8

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

Summary of Employment by sector By ethnicity and sector Summary

The data shows that:

  • 30.3% of all workers in the UK worked in public administration, education and health in 2019

  • in almost every ethnic group, the largest percentage of workers were employed in the public administration, education and health sector

  • the combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi (28.6%) and Asian Other (26.6%) 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 (42.3%)

  • White Other (8.0%) and White British (7.7%) workers had the highest percentages of workers in the construction sector

  • the Indian ethnic group had the highest percentage of workers in the banking and finance sector (21.6%), followed by the Other (20.7%) and Asian Other (20.4%) ethnic groups

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

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.

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 data by sector - Spreadsheet (csv) 261 KB

This file contains the following: measure, year, ethnicity, industry, percentage, denominator, numerator, confidence interval