Business

Christmas Day sees 2.9% of the workforce at work

Christmas workers Image copyright Various

About 863,000 people were working on Christmas Day 2012 - 2.9% of the UK's total workforce - according to the most up-to-date figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The list of festive workers was led by NHS staff, care workers and police officers.

The clergy came top of the list of occupations most likely to be at work at Christmas.

In 2012, 49% of all clergy said they were working that day.

Other large groups of people working on the holiday include chefs and cooks, security guards and prison officers.

"We see that 141,000 doctors, nursing staff and midwives were working on the festive day, as well as 39,000 in the police, fire and ambulance services," said Nick Palmer of the ONS.

"Other groups, however, were no doubt taking a well-earned break after a very busy run-up to Christmas - for example, only 1% of sales and retail assistants and 1% of postal workers were in work that day."

The highest proportion of people at work on Christmas Day was in North East England at 3.6%, while London recorded the lowest proportion of the workforce working, at just 2.1%.

The total number of people employed at Christmas 2012 was slightly lower than in 2008, when 887,000 people were at work that day.

That represented 3% of the total workforce.

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