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Long Covid causes around one in 10 workers to stop working, according to a new study, which says those on lower earnings are worst affected.
Almost two million people have Long Covid, around double the rate last year, and causes one in 10 workers to stop working, according to a new study.
Long Covid is defined as reporting symptoms more than four weeks after infection. The IFS calculates that it is likely that around 110,000 people are missing from the workforce at any one time as a result of long Covid, mainly because they are on sick leave, and that this costs almost £1.5 billion in lost earnings per year.
The research also finds that those who were less well off before the pandemic are more likely to suffer from long Covid. The IFS says that, compared to those without long Covid, those who are suffering from the condition were, pre-pandemic,. While previous research has shown that women, those with pre-existing medical conditions and those in poorer parts of the country were more likely to be hit, this is the first evidence showing that long Covid is more prevalent among deprived individuals.
The study also says long Covid’s effects are quite persistent, with evidence of sufferers still missing from work returned to work., though by the six-month mark the effects are considerably smaller and most sufferers have
Tom Wernham, a Research Economist at IFS and an author of the report, said: “Though acute Covid is no longer the severe threat to public health and the economy that it once was, the impact of long Covid has continued to grow over time, with almost two million now suffering from the condition. Our research suggests that for a significant minority of long Covid sufferers, the condition has severe effects not only on their health but on their ability to do paid work. The rising rate of long Covid could therefore put additional strain on families during the cost of living crisis, especially as long Covid is more common among poorer families, as well as drag on a struggling economy.”