Research

USA: Sharp rise in blue collar suicides

The US government’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported a 40 per cent increase in working age suicides over the last two decades. Its analysis shows 38,000 persons of working age died by suicide in 2017. After analysing suicide data by occupation and industry, it emerged blue collar workers are the highest risk of death by suicide, mirroring findings in the UK (Risks 793).

Suicide rates were highest for men working in quarrying, oil and gas extraction, construction and other services, such as automotive repair, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. Rates were elevated in transportation and warehousing for both men and women. They were also significantly higher for six occupational groups: Construction and extraction (men and women); installation, maintenance and repair (men); arts, design, entertainment, sports and media (men); transportation and material moving (men and women). Elevated suicide rates were also seen for women working in protective services and healthcare support, again echoing UK figures showing care and home care workers were at greater risk. Study data was taken from the 2016 US National Violent Death Reporting System, in which 32 states participated. These statistics were gathered from a variety of reports on violent death, such as coroner reports, law enforcement reports and death reports.
Read more: Peterson C, Sussell A, Li J, Schumacher PK, Yeoman K, Stone DM. Suicide Rates by Industry and Occupation — National Violent Death Reporting System, 32 States, 2016, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), volume 69, number 3, pages 57-62, 24 January 2020. Local 12 News: US experiencing 40% suicide rate increase, higher in blue-collar workers. Source: Risks 932

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