Revealed: The most common jobs in Bedford

If you work in a warehouse, you’re not alone
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New figures from the census shows how most people are employed in Bedford.

The 2021 Census includes one of the most comprehensive pictures the work people do in England and Wales.

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Bedford residents were most commonly working as warehouse operatives when the census was carried out in 2021, with 3,505 employees in the sector (Image: Pixabay/Mohamed Hassan)Bedford residents were most commonly working as warehouse operatives when the census was carried out in 2021, with 3,505 employees in the sector (Image: Pixabay/Mohamed Hassan)
Bedford residents were most commonly working as warehouse operatives when the census was carried out in 2021, with 3,505 employees in the sector (Image: Pixabay/Mohamed Hassan)
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Office for National Statistics figures show Bedford residents were most commonly working as warehouse operatives when the census was carried out in 2021, with 3,505 employees in the sector.

This is equivalent to one in 32 working-age people in the area – defined by the ONS as aged between 16 and 64.

Warehouse operatives were followed by 3,255 people working as sales and retail assistants, and 2,720 as care workers and home carers.

Research by the ONS suggests some jobs may be dying out across England and Wales – for instance, the age profile of typists and bookbinders is far older than those carrying out data entry and analysis.

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There have been warnings in recent years certain jobs may be automated out of existence, as new technology simplifies repetitive tasks in both manual and office settings.

James Reed, chairman of the jobs website Reed.co.uk, said we have reasons to be optimistic about the future job market.

He said: "Sales professionals who can build genuine relationships, healthcare providers tending to the needs of our ageing population, and educators shaping young minds – these will continue to be popular and coveted vocations."

"While technology propels us forwards, this is not to say that our innate human qualities will become redundant in the pursuit of meaningful and important work," he added.

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The figures further show around 11,805 Bedford residents were working in the broader category of managers, directors and senior officials in Bedford – the most highly skilled job category according to the ONS.

Meanwhile, 10,815 were working in so-called 'elementary' occupations, defined as requiring the least amount of education or training.

This means 9.5% of the working-age population were in very low-skilled roles.

Across England and Wales, sales and retail jobs were the most common, with around 1.1 million workers, followed by more than 800,000 people employed in the care sector.

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Julius Probst, labour economist at the recruitment service TotalJobs, says jobs in care will be crucial in the years to come, especially as they are difficult to automate.

He said: "Countries like the UK will experience a rapidly ageing population over the next two decades as the share of people aged 60 or above is going to increase substantially."

"These are tasks that robots will not be able to take over anytime soon," he added.