Record-High Work Absences Due to Viral Outbreaks

According to the federal government, viral infections are producing child care strains in the United States that are unprecedented and are resulting in a record-high number of absences from work.

The flu, RSV, COVID-19, and the ordinary cold are all causing child care issues for parents and teachers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 100,000 people lost work in October as a result of these difficulties, which is higher than at any other time in history, including the deadliest days of the pandemic.

The Washington Post quoted Diane Swonk, chief economist of KPMG, as saying “We have sick kids at the same time we have a child-care problem — you put the two together and there really isn’t any wiggle space.” The cracks are allowing people to slip. In a time when we are already concerned about these things, it means lost paychecks, disruptions at home, and workforce shortages that undermine productivity growth and raise expenses.

The first half of 2022 had the sharpest decline in worker productivity, which is a measure of the products and services a person can generate in an hour.

The number of childcare jobs has not increased to make up for pandemic losses. According to the government, there are 88,000 fewer daycare workers and nearly 300,000 fewer public school staff than there were before the outbreak.

Schools are under pressure as a result of the issue. According to The Post, dozens of classes have been cancelled recently due to the high number of illnesses among both students and teachers.

As a result of the pandemic, people may have compromised immune systems, and there may also be fewer schools that require students to wear masks.

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