United Kingdom

Find out how many people work in YOUR area while you sleep

Although the total number of people working overnight has declined over the past few years, almost nine million Britons make a living in the night-time economy between the hours of 6pm and 6am, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Those employed in the hospitality and health sectors account for the largest share of night-time workers, but these two groups vary significantly.

Night-time workers

In 2022, 27 per cent of the UK workforce reported working “usually” in the evening or night, according to the latest Labour Force Survey published by the ONS.

This translates to 8.7 million night-time workers in total – down from a high of 9.5 million in 2016 – of whom 56 per cent were men and 44 per cent were women.

The night-time economy relies heavily on those born outside of the UK, with people from abroad making up 23 per cent of night workers compared to 18 per cent of daytime workers.

This proportion has been increasing over the past decade, with the number of night-time workers born overseas rising almost 33 per cent to hit two million in 2022.

What jobs do they do?

Two sectors dominate the night-time economy: cultural and leisure activities, including food services, accommodation and entertainment, and 24-hour health and personal services, such as caring and nursing.

While the former counted a higher share of 16 to 19-year-olds among its workforce than the wider average – 18.6 per cent to three per cent overall – the latter had a substantially greater proportion of older employees, most likely due to long medical staff training periods.

Just under 46 per cent of all workers in the hospitality industry reported working both during the night and day – more than any other industry – while the same could be said for 31 per cent of human health and social workers, according to the ONS.

Other industries employing a large proportion of night-time workers include transport and storage, agriculture, forestry and fishing. In 2022, just 15 per cent of night-time workers worked from home compared with 25 per cent of purely daytime workers.

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Where are the most night-time workers?

Night-time workers make up a particularly high proportion of the workforce in Wales and Scotland relative to the rest of the UK, at 31 and 29 per cent respectively. The opposite is true of Northern Ireland, at just 20 per cent.

However, as a proportion of total population, the capital comes out on top with 15.6 per cent of Londoners engaging in some form of night work.

Estimates from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) at a local authority level confirm this, as seven of the ten councils reporting the highest proportion of night-time workers were found to be in London.

These boroughs include Camden (65 per cent), Kensington and Chelsea (39 per cent) and Islington (37 per cent).

The lowest night-time workforce shares were found in East Renfrewshire in Scotland and Castle Point in Essex, both at eight per cent. These happen to be the two most deprived districts in the UK in terms of economic output per resident.

Enter your council into the interactive map below to see how many people depend on the night-time economy in your area…

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