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Women accounted for 70.8 percent of workplace illnesses caused by viruses in 2020

January 09, 2023

Women accounted for 70.8 percent of the 390,020 reported workplace illness cases caused by “other diseases due to viruses, not elsewhere classified” in private establishments in 2020. We will call these cases viruses for short. This category includes COVID-19 cases. Nursing assistants had the highest number of virus cases (65,480) in 2020. Of these cases, 87.2 percent were women. Among medical assistants, women accounted for 90.7 percent of these virus cases.

Number of workplace illnesses in private establishments involving days away from work caused by other diseases due to viruses, not elsewhere classified, by selected occupation and gender, 2020
Occupation Women Men Gender not reported

Nursing assistants

57,120 7,830 530

Registered nurses

46,560 6,660 670

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

20,140 2,590 190

Personal care aides

11,770 2,360 80

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

7,480 2,130 80

Medical and health services managers

7,180 2,040 60

Healthcare support workers, all other

5,970 1,000 70

Medical assistants

5,060 430 100

Production workers, all other

2,060 3,230 120

Retail salespersons

2,720 2,520 20

The age groups with the highest percentage of virus cases varied among occupations. Among registered nurses, workers ages 25 to 34 accounted for 27.7 percent of the 53,890 reported virus cases.

Age distribution of workers in private establishments with workplace illnesses involving days away from work caused by other diseases due to viruses, not elsewhere classified, by selected occupation, 2020
Occupation 16 to 19 20 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 54 55 to 64 65 and older Age not reported

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

0.0% 4.3% 20.8% 21.4% 27.5% 18.1% 3.4% 4.4%

Maids and housekeeping cleaners

1.9 8.3 15.6 17.3 20.4 27.2 5.1 4.1

Nursing assistants

4.4 13.4 21.2 19.0 15.9 16.5 3.8 5.9

Personal care aides

5.0 14.1 22.1 21.3 15.7 15.3 2.7 3.9

Registered nurses

0.0 6.9 27.7 21.9 22.7 15.2 3.5 2.2

Among licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, workers ages 45 to 54 accounted for 27.5 percent of the 22,910 virus cases. Among maids and housekeeping cleaners, workers ages 55 to 64 accounted for 27.2 percent of the 9,690 virus cases.

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. Explanation of events or exposure is in the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification Manual. Information on how COVID-19 is reflected in the nonfatal injury and illness data is in our COVID-19 Fact Sheet. We have more tables, including those reflecting COVID-19 in the workplace. We also have more charts on nonfatal work injuries and illnesses.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Women accounted for 70.8 percent of workplace illnesses caused by viruses in 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/women-accounted-for-70-8-percent-of-workplace-illnesses-caused-by-viruses-in-2020.htm (visited February 06, 2023).

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