Analysis shows that 7.3% of adult social care roles in England were vacant in 2019/20, equivalent to 112,000 vacancies at any one time.
A report from Skills for Care found that despite a slight reduction in job vacancies over the year, employers still needed to find thousands of new workers.
It also found that the number of days lost to sickness in adult social care increased to 7.5% during the pandemic, compared to 2.7% pre-COVID-19.
Skills for Care CEO, Oonagh Smyth, said: 'Any reduction in the number of vacancies is welcome, but we need to attract more new recruits who have the right values to fill posts that offer long term careers where you can make a difference in people’s lives every single day.'
The Local Government Association (LGA) said urgent action is needed on pay, professionalisation, skills and training.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: 'The upcoming Spending Review must provide councils with the extra funding they need to help shore up social care ahead of winter and get through the second wave of COVID-19, while also using this as the basis for future reform of social care to place it on a long-term, sustainable footing.'
Care minister, Helen Whately, said: 'I welcome this report giving us more insight into our social care workforce. It underlines the challenge for social care employers to recruit and retain staff - and the importance of investing in training and career opportunities.'