The View From Here: Who backs the front line worker?

Portland Press Herald

Who are our front line workers? Thanks to some timely work by Sarah Austin, a policy analyst from the Maine Center for Economic Policy, we have a pretty good idea.

She teased out Maine data from a national study that looked at six industries that have been classified as “essential” during the coronavirus response. They are grocery, convenience and drug stores; public transit; trucking, warehouse and postal service; building cleaning services; health care; and child care and social services.

In Maine, those industries employ about 160,000 people, nearly a quarter of the total workforce. More than two-thirds (68 percent) are women, and about 40 percent are over age 50.

As a group, front line workers are more likely to come from low-income households than the workforce as a whole. They are also slightly less likely to have health insurance than other workers.

Click here to read the full story, first published April 26, 2020, in the Portland Press Herald.