The total economic value of the English adult social care sector including all, direct, indirect and induced effects is an estimated £43bn according to research commissioned by Skills for Care.
The research highlighted the size of the sector in England and its importance both socially and economically.
The research was carried out by ICF GHK, and also found that the sector supports nearly 3m full time equivalent jobs across the economy.
Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen said: "Skills for Care carried out this research because we needed to demonstrate the scale of our sector's contribution to the economy in England. A total economic value of £43 billion makes social care one of the key economic drivers in communities across the country.
"This figure will increase as predicted demographic changes mean more people will need care and support in the future. This research strongly supports the case for continued investment in this critical sector to ensure this significant workforce is appropriately skilled and capable to provide high quality care and support now and in the future."
The results found that with an estimated 1.5m people working directly for the sector meaning that 6.4 per cent of the total workforce in England is from the adult social care sector.
The research also highlighted that the adult social care sector directly employs more people in England than the construction industry, the transportation, storage and postal industry and all restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars in the food and drink service industry.
Paul Bidwell, business development director of care providers Optalis said: “It is essential that the Government review current funding rules not just to meet the current and growing Social Care, but also ensure training and educational incentives are in place to provide well-qualified carers.”
Mike Osborne, operations director, Care UK community services division said: “The adult social care sector provides jobs and vital services to millions of people. Changes are being driven by people living longer and with more complex conditions – meaning the importance of the sector is likely to grow as the support of a care worker is required for a longer period of time.
“A challenge is recruiting and retaining talented people with the right values to the sector. We need to make sure we’re able to give them the recognition they deserve and opportunities for career progression by investing in their personal development.
The direct value of the sector is estimated at over £20bn and 1.8 per cent of the Gross Value Added in England. Comparatively, the adult social scare sector contributes more GVA than the food and drinks service industry (£19bn), the arts, entertainments and recreation industries (£18bn) and legal activities (£18bn) in England.
As well as the direct effects of the sector, the research revealed that indirect and induced effects account for a further spend of £22m.