29 Apr 2022
There are now more than a million workers missing from the workforce compared to pre-pandemic, according to a report published by the IPPR think tank.
About 400,000 of these are no longer working because of health factors relating to the pandemic, including long Covid, according to the IPPR.
The report suggests that unresolved, this 'will drag down economic activity this year by an estimated £8 billion'.
The report shows that the relationship between health and the economy goes much further than just keeping workers away from their jobs. It is also a decisive factor in the UK's terminally low productivity, low growth, and vast regional inequalities.
Dame Sally Davies, former Chief Medical Officer, said: 'A fairer country is a healthier one, and a healthier country is a more prosperous one. While the restrictions have eased, the scars of the pandemic still remain deep on the nation's health and our economy.
'Not only are we facing a severe cost of living crisis, driven in part by pandemic induced inflation, we're also experiencing a workforce shortage driven by poor health that's holding back the economy. It has never been more important to put good health at the heart of our society and economy – and our commission will bring forward a plan to do just that.'