The private sector saw 2.6 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2021, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
That equals an incident rate of 2.7 cases per 100 full-time workers. 
While the overall number of illnesses and injuries fell 1.8 percent in 2021 from the year before, the incident rate was the same as in 2020, despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in workplace-related illnesses. 
How is this possible? Well, as the economy reopened, injuries ticked back up, which erased any relative drop-off in the incident rate.  
The report found that nonfatal illnesses (apart from injuries) fell 32.9 percent in 2021 from 2020, with a decline in respiratory illnesses driving the trend. 
The incident rate for injuries increased from 2.2 in 2020 to 2.3 percent in 2021. 
The results are somewhat predictable given the course of the pandemic and economic recovery, but looking closer at the data are some insights about which jobs became less safe last year. 
Retail and warehousing, for instance, saw the biggest increases in the rate of injuries. 
The incident rate for transportation and warehousing jumped 15 percent in 2021 from the year before, while they increased 16 percent for retail trade. 
These industries also saw the biggest risein terms of the total number of injuries, with retail reporting 404,700 cases in 2021, and transportation and warehousing reporting 253,000. 
While incidents in health care and social assistance declined overall from 2020 heights, the sectorstill had the third-highest incident rate overall at 4.3 per 100 workers. This came in behind agricultural jobs and warehousing and transportation, both sectors seeing 4.6 incidents per 100 workers.