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WASHINGTON POST. THE POSTS VIEW. OPINION. The pandemic after the pandemic: Long covid haunts millions of people. “$168 billion in lost annual earnings”
Peter A. Jensen2023-02-10T19:40:35+00:00
The U.S. Census Bureau added questions about long covid to its Household Pulse Survey last year, and the results suggest, according to a Brookings Institution analysis, that some 3 million Americans might be out of the workforce due to long covid. That’s 1.8 percent of the entire U.S. civilian labor force, representing $168 billion in lost annual earnings. The National Bureau of Economic Research found in a September study that in a typical week of the pandemic, 10 workers per 1,000 missed an entire week of work due to their own health problems, compared with six in an average week in the years before. That study estimated covid reduced the U.S. labor force by 500,000 people at an annual cost of $62 billion. Worldwide, a conservative estimate is that 10 percent of the documented 651 million covid cases might have long covid — that’s 65 million people.