03 – Where are voluntary sector staff located?

  • More than eight out of every ten (84%) voluntary sector employees are based in England, with around a tenth (10%) being based in Scotland (LFS).
  • Employees based in Wales and Northern Ireland make up 2% and 4% of the workforce respectively (LFS).

Voluntary sector workforce by nation, 2001-2011 (headcount)

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Source: Labour Force Survey (Base: All people aged 16 and over)
  • More than a third (36%) of voluntary sector workers lived either in London or the South-East in 2011. The private and public sectors were also concentrated in these regions but to a lesser extent (28% and 24% respectively) (LFS).
  • The large number of voluntary sector employees living in London and the South-East is partly down to the fact a high number of charities who have headquarters within this area (LFS).
  • The South-West also had a high proportion of voluntary sector employees (11%). In the North-East, the number of voluntary sector employees grew significantly between 2007 and 2011 from 22,000 to 38,000 (LFS).Both the East and West Midlands saw an increase in the number of employees in the voluntary sector in 2011 (by 14,000 and 9,000 respectively) compared to 2010 (LFS).

Voluntary sector workforce by region, 2001-2011 (headcount)

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Source: Labour Force Survey (Base: All people aged 16 and over)
  • Voluntary sector employees are mainly concentrated in small workplaces. Almost a third (32%) of voluntary sector workers in 2011 were employed in workplaces of less than ten employees. This is noticeably different to both the private and the public sectors (26% and 7% respectively) (LFS).
  • Overall, over half (53%) of the employees in the voluntary sector were employed in workplaces with less than 25 paid staff members. Again, this is a much higher proportion than within the private and public sectors (42% and 17% respectively) (LFS).

Number of employees per workplace by sector, 2011 (headcount, %)

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Source: Labour Force Survey (Base: All people aged 16 and over)