Overall, between 2009-10 and 2015-16, social care spending per adult resident in England fell by 11 per cent after accounting for inflation
Overall, between 2009-10 and 2015-16, social care spending per adult resident in England fell by 11 per cent after accounting for inflation © iStock

Men doing unskilled work have the highest risk of suicide for any job, according to an analysis by the Office for National Statistics and the University of Bristol.

The ONS report, published on Friday, looked at suicide rates among working age people between 2011 and 2015. Suicide is the leading cause of death in England for the under-50s.

For women, suicide rates were highest in artistic, literary and media jobs. There was also a higher risk for women working in healthcare mostly because of higher rates among nurses.

Both male and female carers, who look after the sick, elderly and disabled, had a suicide risk that was triple the national average.

Men in the lowest-skilled and lowest-paid jobs had a 44 per cent higher risk of suicide than the male national average. The risk for men in skilled trades was 35 per cent higher.

The construction industry has a higher suicide risk than many others. Men working in low-skilled jobs in the sector were three times more likely to commit suicide than the male average.

All workers in culture, media and sport had a higher risk of suicide.

The report listed three factors that increased the risk of suicide.

The first was low pay and job security. Managers, directors and senior officials were the highest paid group examined and the least likely to kill themselves.

The second was “self-selection” where people at higher risk enter certain professions. The report also made a point about links with alcoholism: “Suicides in the construction industry may be preceded by high levels of alcohol consumption, relationship problems and multiple stressful life events in the months before death,” the report said.

The third factor was that some jobs increased the access to and knowledge of suicide methods. A previous analysis by the ONS found that this was why doctors, dentists, nurses, vets and farmers were all more likely to commit suicide.

“High risk of suicide among health professionals could also be explained by these occupations possessing relevant knowledge on methods of suicide,” the ONS said.

Get alerts on Office for National Statistics UK when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Follow the topics in this article