The number of paid employees in the voluntary sector increased by 20,000 in the first three months of 2012 compared with the previous quarter, according to an analysis of the government’s latest Labour Force Survey.
The findings, produced by Skills – Third Sector, the Third Sector Research Centre and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, show that 779,000 people worked in the voluntary sector, compared with about 759,000 in the final quarter of 2011.
But 5,000 fewer people were employed in the sector in the first three months of the year compared with the same period in 2011, and 27,000 fewer people worked in the sector compared with the peak in 2010.
Keith Mogford, chief executive of Skills – Third Sector, said that the headline findings were encouraging, but that the overall picture was "more complicated", with many new employees taken on only on a temporary basis and with certain sectors, particularly social care, still badly affected.
"We would urge organisations in the sector to maintain their reputation as good places to work, with a clear commitment to the needs of their diverse staff," he said.