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Key workers: population and characteristics, 2019

Estimates of the numbers and characteristics of those who could be considered as potential “key workers” in the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Main points

In 2019, 10.6 million of those employed (33% of the total workforce) were in key worker occupations and industries.

  • The largest group of those employed in key worker occupations worked in health and social care (31%).
  • 15% of key workers were at moderate risk from the coronavirus (COVID-19) because of a health condition.
  • 31% of key workers have children aged between 5 and 15 years. 16% have children aged 4 or under.
  • Of all households with dependent children (under 16), 6% were key workers and lone parents. 9% were households where both members of the couple were key workers.
  • 14% of key workers reported working from home at least one day in the past week in 2019.

Go to ONS data release