Research

Working poor hardest hit by COVID

The working poor are bearing the greatest burden from COVID -19, a UK public health study has found. The research by Sheffield council showed people in low paid jobs, with insecure contracts, who couldn't afford to isolate have been hardest hit by the disease in the city. The council split its population into 10 income brackets, from the wealthiest to the most deprived, and looked at COVID case rates in each group. While the rates were generally greater among the less well-off, they were highest of all in the third income group, rather than the poorest or second poorest.

“The impact is really on the working poor,” said Sheffield's director of public health, Greg Fell. This group is “most likely to be low paid,” on insecure contracts and unable to afford to isolate. “Transmission in that group of people is much higher,” he said. The fact the disease has affected poorer areas more than wealthy ones in the UK has been well recorded. Work by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows those living in the most deprived neighbourhoods are more than twice as likely to die from COVID as those in the least deprived. But Greg Fell told the BBC he is “surprised by the starkness” of what the council found in Sheffield. Read more: BBC News Online. BBC Newsnight. Source: Risks 989

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