Chart of the week: Covid-19 death rate higher for men in public-facing or construction jobs than 'professional' roles

Each week, we'll be taking a look at a different aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic, presenting our analysis of the data in chart form to illustrate some key issues and invite discussion. This week, John Appleby looks at which occupational groups have higher rates of deaths from coronavirus or other causes in recent months.

Chart of the week

Published: 13/05/2020

New data from the ONS not only emphasises the need to take account of people’s occupation in analysis of deaths involving Covid-19; it also has significant implications for the debate over what measures are needed to protect workers as this week's adjustments to the national lockdown come into force today in England.

As our chart showing mortality rates for working-age men shows, occupations that have had high rates of deaths from all causes have also generally had higher deaths related to Covid-19. It also shows that Covid-19 death rates are lower for people who are less likely to be at their usual place of work – such as those in more ‘professional’ occupations who are able to work at home, or people unable to work due to lockdown measures.

For people whose jobs require them to have more contact with others – not just their work colleagues, but other members of the public more generally – Covid-19-related death rates tend to be higher.

It is notable that Covid-19 death rates for caring personal service occupations are two and a half times higher than for health professionals.



Figures are for the most recent death registrations available at the time of analysis, deaths involving Covid-19 registered between 9th March and 20th April. 

For more information, including equivalent data for the female working-age population, see the ONS data release