COVID cost US employers $213 billion and 6.6 billion hours of lost productivity

The Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), a nonprofit research and educational organization focused on workforce health and productivity, analyzed data from the US Current Population Survey (CPS) and found that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on employee productivity and the economic cost.

IBI’s analysis estimates that the cost associated with lost work hours was $213.1 billion ($167.4 billion in the first year and $45.7 billion in the second year), while the number of hours lost attributed to the pandemic was 6.6 billion hours (5.2 billion in the first year and 1.4 billion in the second year)..

According to the study, The top 5 industries that faced the largest economic losses were:

Educational services, health care and social assistance with $30,800 million
Public administrationwith $27,100 million
Buildingwith $23.9 billion
waste management services$22.4 billion
Manufacturewith $21.5 billion

Regarding lost hours, the first year 39% were lost; those who worked as administrative support (46%) or artisans (51%) being more affected. In the second year, occupations collectively recovered an average of 11%. Administrative support (15%) and craft workers (35%) continued to experience more lost hours than average in the second year.

The IBI notes that lower-paid employees could not avoid face-to-face meetings and were hit hard by lost hours. These employees were disproportionately Women, African Americans, without a high school diploma, and workers age 65 and older.

to better understand how to mitigate losses, the IBI sought the opinion of more than 1,800 employerswho emphasized a number of key points:

– The communication through multiple channels between employers and workers is a key element, where honesty and transparency are the most important part to promote trust.
– The employees’ sense of security It can be strengthened through comprehensive programs including financial and wellness education and leave benefit offerings to meet the needs of employees.
– To the treat the health and well-being of the workforce as a strategic asset In a company’s value-added process, employers can create a high-performing workforce.
– The basics, such as Preventive screening and follow-up visits remain valuable. To avoid costly events, engage employees before their conditions deteriorate.
– Develop communication plans to sensitize employees about the benefits of regular preventative checks and highlight available options and costs.

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COVID cost US employers $213 billion and 6.6 billion hours of lost productivity