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The justice sector in England employs over 480,000 people, which is approximately 83% of the UK justice sector workforce and 2% of the total English workforce. It is responsible for just over 6% of public spending annually.

Between 2002-2008, total employment in the sector grew by 31%, which is much greater than the growth in other sectors.

The overwhelming majority of the workforce consists of employees on a permanent contract (98%), and the majority work in full-time jobs (86%).

Female workers make up 41% of the workforce (5% fewer than the proportion of females in the England whole economy). In the policing and law enforcement and the custodial care sub-sectors, just over a third of the workforce is female, whereas in courts and tribunals, prosecution services and community justice their proportion is at least two-thirds.

7% of the English workforce is from minority ethnic backgrounds, which is 3% lower than the share in the whole economy.

The sector employs a considerably lower proportion of young people between the ages of 16-24 years (8%) than the English economy (14%). This reflects the minimum age requirement of 18 years for most roles, and the tendency of the sector to look for recruits with life experience.

Workforce projections for the period 2010-2020 forecast a modest overall decrease of just over 6% in total employment in the justice sector in England. The fall is expected to be the lowest in the area of justice and judicial activities, and highest in fire service activities. Some regional differences are likely to occur in the degree of overall job losses: Yorkshire and the Humber and the East of England are forecast to see more, whilst London and the North West to see fewer job losses.

Source: Skills for Justice Sector Skills Assessment – England 2010