Some 7.8 million people pointed to Covid-19 symptoms as the reason they were not at their jobs, according to the latest US Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, conducted between January 26 and February 7.
The average number of new Covid-19 cases reported daily in the US topped 800,000 in the middle of January, but that number dropped to 270,000 by February 7, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Overall, the number of Americans who said they weren’t working for a variety of reasons fell by 5 million to 102 million in the latest Census survey, a promising sign, said Elise Gould, senior economist at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. Returning to work typically lags a decline in case counts because many people have to stay home for a few days after testing positive.
Child care issues continue
Some 42.4% of adults lived in households where children under 5 were unable to attend day care or another child care arrangement in the last four weeks, according to the survey. That compares with 37.9% a month earlier.
Financial hardship continues
The share of adults in households with children where it has been difficult to pay for usual household expenses in the last seven days rose to 39.7%, up from 37.6% a month earlier, said Claire Zippel, senior research analyst at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which has been tracking the Census surveys. The measure has been ticking up in recent months.