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Analysis: COVID-19 Forced More People To Stay Home From Work in 2020

Remington Hernandez

We’re now getting an idea of the effect COVID-19 had on work attendance last year.

A USA Today analysis of federal labor statistics found that 1.5 million people a month missed work citing an illness, injury, or medical issues.

That’s a 45% jump over last year, according to the paper.

Sick days do see upticks toward the latter part of the year during cold and flu season but the data suggests COVID-19 has kept people out of work consistently since the spring.

Rises in sick days also appeared to correspond to spikes in cases.

But it’s not all limited to health. Absences to take care of children rose by a whopping 250% above the 20-year average.

That means around 67,000 people a month missed work for their kids.

Experts say the uptick in time off likely had a negative effect on productivity.

But it’s not all bad news for employers, the analysis found that vacations were at a historic low in 2020.

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