Long Covid keeping 2-4 million Americans out of workforce, report says

About 16 million working-age Americans have chronic Covid, and 2-4 million are out of work because of its side effects, according to a new Report From the Brookings Institution.

Employers have reported labor shortages throughout the pandemic, and an analysis of data from the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, which collects data from Americans through surveys on education, employment, health and housing, suggests one possible reason for the labor shortage. .

The report found that about 16 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 have chronic Covid. Of these people, who are considered to be of working age, it is estimated that 2 to 4 million people are out of work because of their symptoms.

Brookings estimates that there are currently 10.6m job vacancies. The report estimates that the dollar amount of lost wages is between $170bn and $230bn per year.

Long-term covid, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as covid-related symptoms that last three or more months after first contracting the virus, turns out to be one. Complicated beast. It is difficult to track and study because symptoms can vary from person to person. Symptoms can range from gastrointestinal problems to nerve pain and fatigue.

In June, CDC estimate That nearly one in five American adults who have contracted Covid-19 still have chronic symptoms of Covid. Overall, about one in 13 adults in the US — about 7.5% of the population — has chronic Covid.

Other countries have reported similar problems affecting employment due to prolonged Covid. In a speech in May, a representative of the Bank of England attribute The workforce is being cut by 440,000 to make up for the “increase in long-term sickness absence”.

estimate The U.S. workforce has declined by 3 million to 3.5 million people during the pandemic.

Addressing the prolonged impact of Covid on the workforce will include policy measures such as extended paid sick leave and better employer accommodation, the report notes. More than 25% of private sector workers do not have any form of paid sick leave. Among the bottom 25% of earners, more than half have no access to paid sick leave. Some workers have reported being removed For taking sick leave.

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