1. Economics
May 11, 2020

People in care work and lower skilled occupations more likely to die from Covid-19

By Michael Goodier

People working in social care have been dying at a higher rate from covid-19 than those in other jobs – along with security guards, taxi drivers, bus drivers, chefs, and shop workers.

New figures released today by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) show for the first time the hardest hit occupations by the virus.

They showed that men were more likely to die than women, with 9.9 in every 100,000 men succumbing to the virus, compared to 5.2 women.

However those rates change massively when looking at certain jobs.

Care workers have been significantly affected, with men and women both almost twice as likely to die from Covid-19 than average.

Looking at men, those working in the lowest skilled occupations – who are unable to work from home – have also been more likely to die.

Male security guards were almost five times as likely to die than average; male taxi drivers and chauffeurs were almost four times as likely; and male bus drivers were almost three times as likely.

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Male chefs were almost four times as likely to die from the disease, while shop assistants were twice as likely.

Conversely, those in professional and technical occupations were less likely to die than average.

The ONS said that the data does not conclusively prove that occupational difference has led to an increased rate of death, as other factors such as ethnic group or geographical location are also likely to play a part.

However it does suggest that exposure is a factor, with road transport drivers – and in particular taxi drivers – being among the most affected groups of men.

Some 76 taxi drivers have died of Covid-19 up to 20 April.

On the other hand, healthcare workers – including doctors and nurses – did not have a significantly higher rate of deaths than the general population.

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