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National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA)

National Neighborhood Data Archive

Essential Workers Data

Jan 24, 2024

The National Neighborhood Data Archive (NaNDA) has recently published a new data product: Essential Workers by Census Tract and ZCTA (zip code tabulation area) United States. This dataset was created because certain occupations and industries were deemed “essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., including healthcare, food service, public transportation). Essential workers were at higher risk for contracting COVID-19, but often did not have adequate access to PPE and other safety measures. As a result, essential workers experienced higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death than non-essential workers. In an effort to better understand worker inequities, our dataset contains: 

  • US census tracts and ZCTAs for the years 2016-2020
  • Number of essential workers in those geographic areas for those years 
  • Proportion of workers in those geographic areas who were considered “essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on  ACLU designations

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