What has been the impact of omicron on the economy? Economists have been scratching their heads for weeks estimating the damage caused by the highly contagious variant of COVID-19.
The US Census Bureau has some early answers.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that omicron was the most dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States on December 20. And from Dec. 29 to Jan. 10, more than 14 million Americans didn’t work at some point because they had COVID or were taking care of something with COVID, or they had to take care of a child. whose school or daycare was closed.
A further 3.2 million people stopped working at some point during the nearly two-week period because they were “worried about contracting or spreading the coronavirus”. And nearly 7 million people said they stopped working because they were laid off or fired, their employer temporarily closed, or their employer went out of business entirely because of COVID.
That’s according to the latest data released in the Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey of nearly 75,000 US households.
Using the responses from these households, the Census Bureau is able to estimate how 107 million Americans would respond to survey questions about their employment status if asked.
“These Americans could have stopped working because of omicron, but it’s harder to tell whether their concerns about getting or spreading COVID-19 existed before the variant started spreading in the United States.”
These Americans could have stopped working because of omicron, but it’s harder to tell whether their concerns about getting or spreading COVID-19 existed before the variant started spreading in the United States. The same goes for employers who have had to lay off/furlough employees. , temporarily close or go bankrupt.
In the previous Household Pulse Survey, which was conducted Dec. 1-13, some 8.1 million Americans weren’t working because they had COVID-19 or were caring for someone who has it. was doing or that their child’s daycare or school was closed.
The survey conducted during this period received responses from more than 60,000 US households.
Nearly 2.6 million Americans stopped working during that time because they feared contracting or spreading COVID-19. And almost the same number of people in the latest survey stopped working because they were laid off or fired, their employer temporarily closed, or their employer went out of business entirely because of COVID-19.
Americans also faced the highest level of inflation in nearly 40 years, driving up costs for businesses and consumers. But it’s currently unclear how omicron affects inflation – although most economists predict it will lead to even higher inflation.
Last month, US health officials reduced isolation times for Americans who test positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms from 10 to five days as part of efforts to help people to return to work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also reduced the time close contacts need to self-quarantine.
After those five days, Americans should still wear a mask around others for another five days, the CDC said.
The policy came just days after the CDC announced that health care workers who had previously contracted the coronavirus, but tested negative and showed no symptoms, could return to work after seven days instead of 10 days.
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