Long COVID-19 keeps up to 4 million out of work, report estimates

Long COVID-19 is keeping between 2 million to 4 million Americans out of work, according to an Aug. 24 report from the Brookings Institute. 

The report is based on an analysis of data from the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey  in June, which included four questions about long COVID-19. To read more about the survey and its methodology, click here. Brookings researchers also cross referenced the survey findings with data from several other large studies to confirm their estimates of long COVID-19's effects on the nation's labor market. 

The Brookings report estimated about 16 million people aged 18 to 65, or 8 percent of working-age Americans, are experiencing lingering effects of COVID-19. Of those, between 2 million and 4 million are out of work. The burden of lost wages from long COVID-19 is between $170 billion and $230 billion per year, the report estimates. 

Health experts told The Wall Street Journal the findings mirror what they see among long COVID-19 patients. 

"Long COVID definitely affects the ability to remain employed, and we're definitely seeing a lot of people being denied short- and long-term disability and workers' compensation despite the fact that they have a diagnosis of long COVID," David Putrino, PhD, director of rehabilitation innovation at New York City-based MOunt Sinai Health System, told The Wall Street Journal.

The Brookings report outlined interventions to mitigate the economic burden of long COVID, including better prevention and treatment options and increasing employment accessibility for those with disabilities.

Click here to view the full report. 


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