USA: up to 4 million people out of work due to long Covid
Around 16 million working-age Americans (those aged 18 to 65) have long Covid today. Of those, 2 to 4 million are out of work due to long Covid.
The annual cost of those lost wages alone is around $170 billion a year (and potentially as high as $230 billion).
The Census Bureau’s June to July 2022 HPS survey found that 16.3 million people (around 8%) of working-age Americans currently have long Covid. This report uses HPS data rather than Current Population Survey (CPS) data—which is generally more robust—because the HPS asks questions specific to long Covid, and the CPS does not. The CPS asks about six specific manifestations of disability, which will likely identify some cases of long Covid, but almost certainly not all.
A recent Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis study corroborates the HPS figure. Using a longitudinal survey, it found that 24.1% of people who have contracted COVID-19 experienced symptoms for three months or more, which the author defined as long Covid. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70% of Americans have contracted COVID-19. If 24.1% of them have had long Covid, 34 million working-age Americans have, at some point, had long Covid.
The Minneapolis Fed study found that 50% of respondents had recovered from long Covid. If we exclude that 50%, we are left with around 17 million people who may currently have long Covid—very near the HPS estimate of 16.3 million.
Brookings Institution: New data shows long Covid is keeping as many as 4 million people out of work
NEW REPORT: using updated data, I find that 2-4m Americans are not working due to #longcovid. This is costing us ~$170 billion annually in lost wages alone. A thread (1/) https://t.co/qNbmuKq3gm
— Katie Bach (@kathrynsbach) August 24, 2022
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