Virginia Has the 11th Fewest Contact-Intensive Occupations in the U.S.

Social distancing measures used to help fight COVID-19 hit certain businesses and occupations especially hard. “Nonessential” occupations that require a high degree of face-to-face interaction—such as cosmetologists, bartenders, and athletic trainers—have been the most vulnerable throughout the pandemic, with large swaths of workers in these fields facing reduced hours or unemployment.

On the other hand, essential workers in occupations with high levels of physical contact—for example, healthcare and logistics workers—have not experienced the same job losses, but have had to grapple with increased risk of exposure to the virus. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Occupation Information Network (O*NET), more than half of U.S. jobs require very close (near touching) or moderately close (at arm’s length) contact with others while at work. And while much of the economy has gone virtual, new data from the BLS shows that only about 20% of workers are currently teleworking because of the pandemic.

At the state level, Mississippi and South Carolina rank highest according to the composite index. About 60% of workers in Mississippi and 58% in South Carolina work in very close or moderately close contact with others. In Virginia, this composite index is only 45.1% with around 1 in 5 considered very close contact with others.

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Filterbuy’s website: https://filterbuy.com/resources/cities-with-move-contact-intensive-occupations/

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