BLS: Workplace Homicides Up 13 Percent in 2007

Workplace homicides rose 13 percent to 610 in 2007 after reaching a series low of 540 in 2006, according to data released recently by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Further, workplace homicides involving police officers and supervisors of retail sales workers both saw substantial increases in 2007.

Just last year, tallying figures for 2006, BLS reported that the nation had experienced its lowest annual homicide total on record. Thus, the agency noted, even with 2007's increase, workplace homicides have declined 44 percent from the high of 1,080 reported in 1994.

According to a study posted on the BLS Web site, the highest risk for workplace homicide is observed among males, the self-employed, and those employed in grocery stores, eating and drinking establishments, gas service stations, taxicab services, and government service, including law enforcement. The majority of workplace homicides occur during robberies. In general, workers engaged in an occupation in which cash transactions take place are at greatest risk.

BLS began keeping workplace homicide statistics in 1992. Here is a list of the annual totals since then:

1992 -- 1,044
1993 -- 1,074
1994 -- 1,080
1995 -- 1,036
1996 -- 927
1997 -- 860
1998 -- 714
1999 -- 651
2000 -- 677
2001 -- 643
2002 -- 609
2003 -- 632
2004 -- 559
2005 -- 567
2006 -- 540
2007 -- 610

Totals for 2001 exclude fatalities from the September 11 terrorist attacks, and data for 2007 are preliminary.

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