Permanent and temporary employment
Last updated 3 August 2021 - see all updates
- 1. Navigate toMain facts and figures section
- 2. Navigate toThings you need to know section
- 3. Navigate toBy ethnicity section
- 4. Navigate toBy ethnicity over time (permanent employment only) section
- 5. Navigate toBy ethnicity over time (temporary employment only) section
- 6. Navigate toBy ethnicity and gender section
- 7. Navigate toData sources section
- 8. Navigate toDownload the data section
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.
- 95% of working age people (16 to 64 year olds) who were employed in 2019 were in permanent employment – 5% were in temporary employment
- 95% of employees from the White British and Indian ethnic groups were in permanent employment – the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
- 9% of employees from the Black and Other ethnic groups were in temporary employment – the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
- 5% of White British female employees were in temporary employment, compared with 4% of White British male employees
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data shows the number and percentage of working age people (16 to 64 year olds) in employment who were in permanent and temporary work in their main job. The data covers employees in England, Wales and Scotland.
A person of working age is employed if they:
- are in paid work, as an employee or self-employed
- have a job that they are temporarily away from, for example on holiday
- are on a government-supported training or employment programme
- are doing unpaid family work, for example working in a family business
An employee is in temporary employment if they have a fixed-period contract, or are doing one of the following:
- agency temping
- casual work
- seasonal work
- other temporary work
In the Annual Population Survey, respondents decide if they are in permanent or temporary employment.
Percentages in the charts and tables are rounded to whole numbers, but have been worked out with unrounded figures. Totals in the download file have been rounded to the nearest 100.
Not included in the data
The data does not include estimates based on fewer than:
- 30 survey respondents for data which includes all ethnic groups together
- 100 survey respondents for data by ethnicity
This is to protect people’s confidentiality and because the numbers involved are too small to make reliable generalisations.
The ethnic categories used in this 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 Other ethnic groups. 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 this data.
The Annual Population Survey updated its ethnicity questions in 2011. As a result, estimates from before and after 2011 may not be consistent, and data for individual ethnic groups in 2011 is not available.
Data for 2004 and 2005 is not comparable with later years. This is because the permanent or temporary employment status was not known for a large percentage of employees.
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:
- estimates by region, and by region and sex for all ethnic groups
- confidence intervals for each ethnic group – see how we use confidence intervals to demonstrate the reliability of survey estimates
- sample sizes
- estimates rounded to 1 decimal place
- estimates for employees whose employment status was not known
3. By ethnicity
|Ethnicity||Permanent %||Permanent Number||Temporary %||Temporary Number|
|Pakistani and Bangladeshi||93||506,700||7||38,800|
Summary of Permanent and temporary employment By ethnicity Summary
4. By ethnicity over time (permanent employment only)
|Pakistani and Bangladeshi||91||92||92||91||91||93||90||not collected||89||92||91||91||92||92||93||93|
|Asian other including Chinese||92||89||91||92||91||89||90||not collected||91||91||91||92||92||92||91||93|
|White British||95||95||95||95||95||95||95||not collected||94||94||94||95||95||95||95||95|
|White other||90||91||91||92||92||92||92||not collected||91||91||92||91||91||92||92||93|
Summary of Permanent and temporary employment By ethnicity over time (permanent employment only) Summary
5. By ethnicity over time (temporary employment only)
|Pakistani and Bangladeshi||9||8||9||9||9||7||10||not collected||10||8||8||9||8||8||8||7|
|Asian other including Chinese||8||11||9||8||9||11||10||not collected||9||8||9||8||8||8||8||7|
|White British||5||5||5||5||5||5||5||not collected||6||6||6||5||5||5||5||5|
|White other||10||9||9||8||8||8||8||not collected||9||9||8||9||9||8||8||7|
Summary of Permanent and temporary employment By ethnicity over time (temporary employment only) Summary
6. By ethnicity and gender
|Ethnicity||Men % Permanent||Men Number Permanent||Men % Temporary||Men Number Temporary||Women % Permanent||Women Number Permanent||Women % Temporary||Women Number Temporary|
Summary of Permanent and temporary employment By ethnicity and gender Summary
7. 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.
8. Download the data
This file contains the following: Measure, Employment_type, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Time, Time_Type, Region, Gender, Value, Value_type, Confidence_interval, Numerator, Denominator, Sample_size.