Those working in lower-paid manual jobs, as well as carers and healthcare workers, were most likely to die from coronavirus, both before and after lockdown was implemented, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Looking at the number of people aged 20 to 64 whose deaths were registered as involving coronavirus and grouping them by occupation, the figures shine a light on the vastly different levels of risk people have dealt with depending on the type of job they do.
While there were some variations between men and women, ONS data shows that it was workers in the elementary occupations, as well as care and service workers who were most at risk across the board, both before and after lockdown measures were brought in.
Among both men and women, the least likely to die as a result of coronavirus throughout the pandemic were those working in professional, associate professional and technical, as well as managerial and senior occupations.
Coronavirus related deaths among men
Prior to lockdown, men in four of the nine main occupational categories were statistically more likely to die from coronavirus than average, with workers in elementary occupations - such as security staff and labourers - the most at risk.
Men working in care, leisure and service occupations were also significantly more likely to die, as were those working as process plant and machine operatives, and those in administrative and secretarial jobs.
After lockdown was implemented this changed slightly, with men working in care, leisure and service occupations the most at risk, and significantly more likely to die than average. Elementary workers were still significantly more at risk than average, while process plant operatives and skilled trade workers were also more at risk.
Coronavirus related deaths among women
While fewer women died overall than men among the age groups analysed, there were still major variations in the rates of death involving coronavirus based on occupation.
Both before and after the pandemic, women working in the care, leisure and service sector were far more likely to die from coronavirus than any other occupational group and had a significantly higher rate of death than average.
What caused this?
While it is too soon to say for certain, it seems likely that increased rates of Covid-related deaths in an occupation are caused by those occupations requiring close proximity to others and regular exposure to the disease.
There are also some occupations that were more likely to require staff to work throughout the pandemic, and those who were less likely to have the option of working from home.
As expected, the data shows that rates of death involving coronavirus were lower during lockdown than before it was implemented among all occupations.