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15% of US worker shortage due to long COVID

15% of US worker shortage due to long COVID, study says

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — For most of America, COVID-19 has come and gone, but for some patients, long COVID has become a persistent set of symptoms even after the infection is gone. As the United States continues its economic recovery, new data shows long COVID may also be hitting the job market.

Long COVID, also called long-haul or post-COVID according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is when patients experience “a wide range of ongoing health problems,” sometimes for weeks, months, or years after recovering form a severe COVID-19 illness.

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Data from the CDC said as of Aug. 8, between 14% and 15.4% of U.S. residents have experienced long COVID. Depending on what state the patients lived in, the chance of having long COVID were higher, such as in Florida where the percentage ranged from 15.4% to 21.5% as of Aug. 8, compared to the national range capping out at 15.4%.

However, the data used by the CDC has some caveats, due to its source coming from the National Household Pulse Survey for June to July conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Brookings Institute, an American research non-profit based in Washington examined the data and employment trends over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Brookings analysis reported as many as 16.3 million working-age U.S. citizens, from 18 to 65-years-old, have long COVID. The number of working-age residents with long COVID was collected from the Census survey. The number of workers who have long COVID equals roughly 8% of Americans old enough to work, according to the Brookings Institute.

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The study said 2-4 million were not working as a result. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows in their recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover report for June that there were 10.7 million job openings in the nation, currently.

Using available data, Brookings reported as much as 15% of the open positions in the U.S. were going unfilled in a “conservative estimate” as a result of long COVID. A new JOLT report from the BLS is expected Aug. 30.

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