The number of jobs in adult social care in England rose by 7% to 1.77 million between 2009 and 2010 according to new figures released by Skills for Care.
The Size and Structure of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England 2011 report found the bulk of this rise is due to an increase in the number of personal assistants working for direct payment recipients.
The new report uses improved methodology, and more data provided by employers to the National Minimum Dataset for Social Care (NMDS-SC), to estimate that 1.56 million people were doing the increased number of jobs in 2010.
"In 2005 I described information about the social care workforce as being like a desert and that the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care had the potential to provide a more fertile source of information for workforce planning.' says David Behan , the Department of Health's Director General of Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships.
"This latest report, The Size and Structure of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce from Skills for Care, provides high quality workforce information and analysis derived from the NMDS-SC that will be a key component in our workforce planning. It will help both commissioners of social care and employers themselves meet some of the key challenges set out in the government's vision for social care."
The report estimated that 21,900 organisations were involved in providing or organising adult social care and 48,300 establishments employ care staff.
The total number of organisations increased by 0.5% and the number of establishments was also estimated to have grown by 2.6%.
The data also shows that around 154,000 adults and older people were receiving direct payments from council social services departments in 2010 and the total number of direct payment recipients increased by 35% between March 2009 and 2010.
"Skills for Care has worked hard to make it easier for employers to provide their data which is invaluable in helping us provide in-depth analysis on the adult social care workforce in England," says Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen.
"This report will help the sector make informed decisions about the future size and shape of that workforce which will be vital in making informed decisions about how we commission high quality services in our communities."