American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Workers
There were an estimated 2.7 million AI/AN workers in the U.S. in 2016, accounting for 1.8 percent of the total workforce. The most common occupations for AI/AN workers are provided in the following Table.
|Occupation||Number of Workers|
|Office and Administrative Support Occupations||344,046|
|Sales and Related Occupations||262,257|
|Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations||220,948|
|Transportation and Material Moving Occupations||209,733|
|Construction and Extraction Occupations||176,760|
|Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations||158,045|
|Personal Care and Service Occupations||147,691|
|Education, Training and Library Occupations||131,077|
|All Other Occupations||701,570|
Workers pose for photo on a construction site. Photo by NIOSH
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC/NIOSH). 2016. Employed Labor Force query system. Morgantown: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Available from: https://wwwn.cdc.gov/wisards/cps/ (Accessed January 12, 2018).
Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Current population survey microdata files. Available from: http://thedataweb.rm.census.gov/ftp/cps_ftp.htmlExternal (Accessed January 12, 2018).
AI/AN workers are 42% more likely to be employed in a high-risk occupation (an occupation where the injury and illness rate is more than twice the national average) as compared to non-Hispanic white workers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 336 AI/AN workers were killed on-the-job during 2007 – 2016 – an average of 34 fatalities each year. Most of those fatalities occurred among male workers (308, 92%). The industries with the most fatalities were construction (78), agriculture/forestry/fishing (49), and transportation and warehousing (33).
Occupational safety and health in tribal communities is an underexplored topic and national data on occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities among AI/AN workers are scarce. There is still a need for additional data with more detail to better understand and address the work-related risks facing AI/AN workers.
 Steege A, Baron S, Marsh S, Menendez C, Myers J . Examining Occupational Health and Safety Disparities Using National Data: A Cause for Continuing Concern. Am J Ind Med 57:527-538