Forget the work-from-home revolution or quiet quitting: The COVID-19 pandemic's biggest impact on the U.S. labor market will be as a mass disability event. It's a shock that the economy is not well prepared to handle.
An estimated 1 in 4 COVID-19 patients experience symptoms lasting months. In principle, not all of them should have to leave the labor force. First, they should be able to call in sick. If work-impairing symptoms persist beyond a week or two, they should have the option of requesting reduced hours or claiming short-term disability benefits. Only in severe cases, lasting several months or more, should they have to transition to long-term disability insurance.…
The remainder of this commentary is available at bloomberg.com.
Kathryn Anne Edwards is an economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.
This commentary originally appeared on Bloomberg on December 7, 2022. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.