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The 2020 key worker nation report

From healthcare to national security, essential workers across the world are doing their bit in the battle against coronavirus to protect the public and keep the world working in incredibly challenging times. Their heroic efforts are a true inspiration to everyone, so much so, searches for key worker roles have skyrocketed...
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Graphic of 2020 Key Worker Nation Report

We’ve never been more interested in key worker jobs…

The personal finance experts at money.co.uk created the 2020 Key Worker Nation Report after analysing the last 90 days of Google Search data* for 24 essential worker roles** to reveal which jobs have become more popular, alongside the areas of the UK that are searching for them the most. 

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Overall search volume for key worker roles rise by 67% but for the top ten most popular roles search volumes were up on average by 164%.

top 10 most searched

Revealed: lockdown searches for key worker careers

Using data from Google Trends, these are the most-searched key worker careers over the last 90 days of lockdown:


Delivery Driver Jobs topped the list with the biggest increase in interest; five times more searches (+475%) since the 1st February 2020. 

Two-thirds (16/24) of essential job roles experienced an increase in popularity, +116% on average over the 90-day period.  

All three healthcare careers in the study increased in interest; Care Workers (+144%), Midwives (+77%) and Nurses (+25%). 

Fire Service (-40%), Police (-21%) and Border Force (-15%) all experienced a decrease in interest for their respective career searches. 

Our study used the UK Government’s official key worker categories, but which category has experienced the biggest surge in interest on average over 90 days?

  • Food and Necessary Goods: +239%

  • Key Public Services: +139%

  • Health and Social Care: +82%

  • Education and Childcare: +34%

  • Public safety and national security: +26%

  • Transport: +16%

  • Utilities, communication and financial services: +5%

  • Local and National Government: -5%

Key worker roles in the Food and Necessary Goods category topped the list, with three times more searches (239%) over the 90-day period, followed by Key Public Service roles, with twice as many searches (139%). Health and Social Care roles were third in the list with an 82% increase in interest.   

Which area in the UK searches the most for each key worker role?   

Search data from Google reveals that different areas of the UK are more interested in becoming key workers than others. Here are the top searching locations per key worker job role. 

Regional data for kew worker career searches

Belfast is the top-searching location, with the most interest in Solicitors, Funeral Directors and Childminders. 

Delivery driver jobs were searched for the most in Birmingham, and Supermarket work was the most sought after in Leeds

The UK Key Worker Discount Database

Key workers all over the UK have been inundated with offers of support from a wide range of companies, from discounted clothing to free vehicle health checks. The UK Key Worker Discount Database includes offers we’ve found that are open to all essential workers in the UK, and details on how to access them.  

Key Worker Nation Report Methodology: 

*Starting with a seed list of key worker careers (three roles from each of the Government's Key Worker Category List):  

  • Health and Social Care: Midwife, Nurse, Care Worker

  • Education and childcare: Teacher, Social Worker, Childminder

  • Key Public Services: Journalist, Undertakers, Postal service

  • Local and national government: Border force, Civil servant, Solicitors 

  • Food and other necessary goods: Supermarket worker, Delivery Driver, Factory Worker

  • Public safety and national security: Army, Police officer, Firefighter

  • Transport: Bus driver, Taxi driver, Train driver 

  • Utilities, communication and financial services: Call Centre Worker, Bank cashier, Waste disposal operative

**The following phrases were used to ensure search sentiment was related to jobs careers or work in each profession:

"Midwife Jobs", "Nursing Jobs", "Care Work", "Teaching", "Social Worker", "Childminder Jobs", "Journalist Jobs", "Funeral Director Jobs", "Civil Service Jobs", "Solicitor Jobs", "Supermarket Jobs", "Delivery Driver Jobs", "Factory Jobs", "Army Jobs", "Police Officer Jobs", "Firefighter Jobs", "Bus Driver Jobs", "Taxi Driver Jobs", "Train Driver Jobs", "Call Centre Jobs", "Cashier Jobs", "Recycling Jobs", "Border Force Jobs", "Post Office Jobs".

***For each of these, Google Trends was used to show the percentage increase or decrease in interest for each key worker career over 90 days (1st February - 1st May) alongside the UK locations who were the most interested, according to Google search data. 

Google Ads Keyword Planner was then used to find the monthly UK search volume for each key worker career.  

We then applied population estimates from the Office for National Statistics for each location, divided by the search volume from Keyword Planner to develop the search index for each.

The raw data can be explored here: https://bit.ly/keyworkernation2020 

If you are thinking about changing jobs, ensure you compare your pension options to maximise your cash.

About Salman Haqqi

Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press such as The Express, Travel Daily, and The Daily Star.

View Salman Haqqi's full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.

About Salman Haqqi

View Salman Haqqi's full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.