August 24, 2022 from Brookings
According to a recent study by the Brookings Institution, long COVID is keeping as many as four million working-age Americans out of their jobs. This staggering number highlights the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the labor market and the challenges faced by individuals who suffer from long-term COVID symptoms.
Long COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), is a condition that affects individuals who continue to experience symptoms several weeks or months after the onset of COVID-19. These symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, and joint pain, among others.
The Brookings Institution analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey and found that between 3.4 and 4 million working-age Americans are currently unable to work due to long COVID. This equates to roughly 2.6% of the working-age population and has significant implications for the economy and the affected individuals’ lives.
The data also revealed that long COVID disproportionately affects certain groups of people, including women, people of color, and those with lower educational attainment and income levels. These groups are more likely to work in jobs that require physical labor or have limited access to healthcare, making it harder for them to manage their symptoms and return to work.
Researchers suggest that policymakers should take steps to support affected individuals, such as expanding access to healthcare and disability benefits, as well as investing in research to better understand and treat long COVID.