Male shop assistants have higher COVID-19 death rates: ONS report

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A shop assistant wearing a face mask in Brixton on March 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Male shop assistants have higher rates of death involving COVID-19, with 19.8 deaths per 100,000 males, a new report by ONS shows.

The data published on Monday (11 Ma) reveals that men in the lowest-skilled jobs have the highest rate of death involving COVID-19 among working-age people in England and Wales.

The data also showed deaths among nurses and doctors were no higher than the average.

Men in the lowest-skilled jobs suffered 21.4 COVID-related deaths per 100,000 males in the period up to April 20, more than double the average for working age males of just under 10 deaths per 100,000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The average death rate for working age women was 5.2 per 100,000.

Male security guards had a death rate of more than four times the overall average for working-age people, with 45.7 deaths per 100,000.

Male taxi drivers and chauffeurs (36.4 deaths per 100,000), chefs (35.9 deaths) and bus and coach drivers (26.4 deaths), alongside sales and retail assistants, are the other occupational categories that had higher death rates, contrasting with men classed as having professional occupations – which typically require a university education – whose mortality rates involving COVID-19 was 5.6.

Male and female care workers and home carers – some of whom have raised concerns publicly about a lack of protective equipment – had significantly raised rates of 23.4 and 9.6 COVID-related deaths per 100,000 respectively, the data showed.

But healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, were not found to have higher rates of COVID-related deaths than people of the same age and sex in the general population.

The ONS said its data did not prove that higher death involving COVID-19 was necessarily caused by differences in exposure to the virus through work.

It adjusted its data for age, but not for other factors such as ethnic group and place of residence.

Last week, the ONS said black people and men of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin were nearly twice as likely to die from the COVID-19 disease than whites, even when adjusting data for deprivation.

(With Agencies)