Tags: COVID | omicron | work productivity and absenteeism

Omicron Caused Surge in Absences From Work in January

man sick at home with COVID
(Dreamstime)

Friday, 04 February 2022 09:50 AM EST

The number of Americans who were unable to work or reported reduced hours due to their business either closing entirely or cutting back operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic shot up in January to its highest level in seven months, a Labor Department survey showed on Friday.

Approximately 6.04 million people saw their hours curtailed or canceled last month, up from 3.10 million in December. Cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant, which hit the United States with force in December, reached their peak in mid-January, when about one million infections were reported per day.

Despite the absences, the U.S. economy created 467,000 jobs last month, the main Labor Department monthly jobs report showed https://www.reuters.com/business/us-job-growth-beats-expectations-january-unemployment-rate-40-2022-02-04, pointing to underlying strength in the labor market.

The Federal Reserve is on track to lift interest rates from near zero at its next policy meeting on March 15-16 as it seeks to curb annual inflation, which is at a near 40-year high, and amid a buoyant labor market.

Elsewhere in the supplemental survey, which the Labor Department uses to track the ongoing impact of the pandemic on households, the number of people not looking for jobs over the previous four weeks because of COVID-19 fears also rose.

About 1.81 million did not look for work in January, up from 1.12 million the prior month while the number of people who said they teleworked recently due to the pandemic increased sharply last month to 23.94 million from 17.36 million in December.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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The number of Americans who were unable to work or reported reduced hours due to their business either closing entirely or cutting back operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic shot up in January to its highest level in seven months, a Labor Department survey showed.
COVID, omicron, work productivity and absenteeism
246
2022-50-04
Friday, 04 February 2022 09:50 AM
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