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Lingering COVID Issues And The Workforce

December 15, 2022

According to a study by the Brookings Institute:

  • Approximately 16 million workers (age 18 – 65) experience long COVID
  • About 13 – 25% of those workers are out of work
  • Cost of wages lost – somewhere between $170 – $230 billion!

What about workers with a job but need to take time off because of COVID related illness? The Wall Street Journal quotes a Labor Department statistic that 630,000 more workers missed a minimum of one week compared to pre-pandemic. That is a lot of hours and productivity lost.

A study by economists Gopi Shah Goda of Stanford and Evan J. Soltas of MIT – another 500,000 workers dropped out of the labor force entirely due to long COVID.

When we consider the tight labor force and look at the above data, it is no wonder jobs remain unfilled.

Is this going to be the new normal? If so, employers are going to have to adjust to the periodic absence of workers due to COVID and the related illnesses not to mention the impact on workflow, turnover and productivity. Not a happy scenario for anyone.


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