Chief Economist for the Bank of England says, "I know volunteering is good for the UK economy"
An army of UK volunteers are adding huge value to the country.
In the UK an estimated 15 million people volunteer on a regular basis. That number reaches as many as 30 million people when you include people who give their time and effort in more sporadic ways over the course of a year. There is a veritable army of altruists.
The volunteer army are estimated to offer 4.4 billion hours of work per year. This is equivalent to almost 10 per cent of the paid hours worked in the UK. Adding in informal volunteering might double those numbers – equivalent to the number of people employed in manufacturing across the whole of the country.
Globally, the picture is much the same. The number of volunteers worldwide is fast approaching the one billion person mark. By headcount, this would make volunteering as important as any sector on the planet.
Counting volunteer heads is easier than measuring the economic value of the goods and services these heads produce. Once you take account of both formal and informal volunteering, the ONS has estimated that the economic value of volunteering could equal around £50bn per year.
That is around 3.5 per cent of annual UK GDP, or roughly the size of the education budget.
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