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By Maggie Fox
Male construction workers have the highest rate of suicide in the U.S., while teachers and librarians have the lowest, according to new federal data.
Suicides are rising among the whole population, and a breakdown by occupation shows construction workers and miners headed the list, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
“In 2012 and 2015, suicide rates were highest among males in the construction and extraction occupational group,” the CDC said in a statement.
But other industries are seeing increasing growth in suicide rates, the CDC found.
“From 2012 to 2015, suicide rates increased most for males in arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations (47 percent) and for females in food preparation and serving related occupations (54 percent),” the CDC said.
Breaking down suicide rates by occupation can help doctors and policy leaders understand what’s causing the recent jump in suicide.
“Increasing suicide rates in the U.S. are a concerning trend that represent a tragedy for families and communities and impact the American workforce,” said Dr. Debra Houry, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Knowing who is at greater risk for suicide can help save lives through focused prevention efforts.”
The CDC reported in June that suicide rates were up by 30 percent across the country. Nearly 45,000 people died by suicide in 2016, the CDC team found.
The new industry breakdown shows that the three occupations for men most affected by suicide are construction and mining; arts, entertainment, sports and media; and installation, maintenance and repair. For women, they are the arts, entertainment, sports and media; protective services and health care support.
“Among both males and females, the lowest suicide rate in 2015 was observed in education, training, and library occupations,” the CDC team wrote.
The CDC withdrew a 2012 report that suggested farmers and other agricultural workers had the highest rates of suicide.
Thursday’s new report is based on analysis of 22,000 people who died by suicide in 17 states in 2012 and 2015.