43. Briefly describe what you do (did) in your main job.

Why we ask this question

Your answers help your community by ensuring local authorities and central government understand local and national labour markets and develop suitable plans for housing, transport and land use. The information the census gathers can help to show what occupations will look like in the future. It can also help to work out what skills and training are needed to meet that demand.

This information is also useful for local economic development, as it provides an understanding of social behaviour and how public resources are shared.

Questions about employment have been asked since 1801.

Briefly describe what you do in your main job. If you aren't currently working, answer about the last job you had. Don't answer about any other jobs.

Important information:

How to answer if the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected your job

If you're currently working and the nature of your work has changed because of the coronavirus pandemic, give an answer that best describes your current circumstances.

If you're away from work on furlough, in quarantine or self-isolating, answer about the job you had before being away from work.

If you can't remember the details, answer as best you can.

What we mean by main job

Your circumstances may have changed during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Answer about your current main job if you have one.

If you don't have a job at the moment, answer about the most recent job you had.

If you're away from work on furlough, in quarantine or self-isolating, consider the hours you were working before being away from work.

More than one job

If you have more than one job at the same time:

  • answer about the job in which you usually work the most hours
  • if your hours are equal, use the job that pays the most
  • if your hours and pay are equal, use the one you did most recently

Changing jobs

If you're in the middle of changing jobs, answer about the main one you were doing on Sunday 21 March 2021. Only answer about your new position if you've already left your previous job.

Examples of brief job descriptions

  • "Sell clothing in a department store"
  • "Clean offices"
  • "Nursing in the community"
  • "Teach primary schoolchildren"

Agency workers

Describe the job you are, or were, contracted to do. Please don't enter "Agency work".

Important information:

Not enough space

If you run out of space, enter as much as you can. Only enter one character per box.

Important information:

Answering for someone else

If you're answering on behalf of someone else, where possible you should ask them how they would answer. If they're away, answer as best you can.