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COVID symptoms blamed for 500,000 staff not returning to labor pool


The COVID pandemic has sapped the US labor pool of about 500,000 employees because persistent symptoms have prevented them from returning to work, recent research shows.

The study — titled “The Impacts of Covid-19 Illnesses on Staff” — tracked 300,000 staff over 14 months through June 2022, comparing their work absentee rates to a historical average going back to 2010.

The employees had no pre-existing health issues, in keeping with the study released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“If we stay where we’re with COVID infection rates going forward, we expect that 500,000-person loss to persist until either exposure goes down or severity goes down,” economist and co-author of the study Evan J. Soltas of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology told The Wall Street Journal.

Staff who hold jobs that expose them to the virus at a greater level – particularly jobs that don’t include an choice to earn a living from home – have the next health-related absentee rate, in keeping with the research. 

Staff with a school degree and the flexibility to earn a living from home suffered fewer work related absences due to Covid-19 than those and not using a college degree, the study found.Getty Images

Amongst essentially the most debilitating symptoms the employees suffered are chronic fatigue and organ damage, in keeping with the study of employees who make up a part of the Census Bureau’s monthly household survey,

It found that the speed of sick days taken in the course of the 14-month period increased to 10 staff per 1,000 compared with six health-related absences per 1,000 before the pandemic.

The study also found that staff with only a highschool degree were absent from work twice the quantity of staff who hold a school degree.

“Overall the loss within the US labor supply from Covid-19 illnesses appears substantial,” amounting to a $62 billion cost, which is about half of the estimated losses from cancer or diabetes, in keeping with the study.

In August, the variety of working adults reached 164.7 million, exceeding the February 2020 pre-pandemic level for the primary time. The unemployment rate, which stays at historic lows, ticked up barely in August by 0.2% to three.7% in comparison with July.

There have been over 57 million reported COVID cases and roughly 250,000 deaths from Covid-19 amongst working-age U.S. adults through July 2022, the study said.

The Post reported last week that many moms have been sidelined because they’re unable to seek out childcare providers. That industry has suffered among the many worst losses in the course of the pandemic.

A woman take a nasal swab test.Some women have left the workforce because they may not find adequate childcare.REUTERS

Many older staff have retired early, partly, due to their fear of becoming sick from the virus.

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