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1.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262337, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662439

ABSTRACT

The speed of the economic downturn in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has been exceptional, causing mass layoffs-in Germany up to 30% of the workforce in some industries. Economic rationale suggests that the decision on which workers are fired should depend on productivity-related individual factors. However, from hiring situations we know that discrimination-i.e., decisions driven by characteristics unrelated to productivity-is widespread in Western labor markets. Drawing on representative survey data on forced layoffs and short-time work collected in Germany between April and December 2020, this study highlights that discrimination against immigrants is also present in firing situations. The analysis shows that employees with a migration background are significantly more likely to lose their job than native workers when otherwise healthy firms are unexpectedly forced to let go of part of their workforce, while firms make more efforts to substitute firing with short-time working schemes for their native workers. Adjusting for detailed job-related characteristics shows that the findings are unlikely to be driven by systematic differences in productivity between migrants and natives. Moreover, using industry-specific variation in the extent of the economic downturn, I demonstrate that layoff probabilities hardly differ across the less affected industries, but that the gap between migrants and natives increases with the magnitude of the shock. In the hardest-hit industries, job loss probability among migrants is three times higher than among natives. This confirms the hypothesis that firing discrimination puts additional pressure on the immigrant workforce in times of crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Economic Recession , Economics , Employment/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Demography/economics , Developed Countries/economics , Emigration and Immigration , Germany , Health Workforce/economics , Humans , Industry/economics , Occupations/economics , Pandemics/economics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Socioeconomic Factors , Transients and Migrants
2.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260726, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546966

ABSTRACT

Mental health disorders represent an enormous cost to society, are related to economic outcomes, and have increased markedly since the COVID-19 outbreak. Economic activity contracted dramatically on a global scale in 2020, representing the worst crisis since the Great Depression. This study used the COVID Impact Survey to provide insights on the interactions of mental illness and economic uncertainty during COVID-19. We used a probability-based panel survey, COVID Impact Survey, conducted in the U.S. over three waves in the period April-June 2020. The survey covered individual information on employment, economic and financial uncertainty, mental and physical health, as well as other demographic information. The prevalence of moderate mental distress was measured using a Psychological Distress Scale, a 5-item scale that is scored on a 4-point scale (total range: 0-15). The mental distress effect of employment, economic, and financial uncertainty, was assessed in a logit regression analysis conditioning for demographic and health information. It is found that employment, health coverage, social security, and food provision uncertainty are additional stressors for mental health. These economic factors work in addition to demographic effects, where groups who display increased risk for psychological distress include: women, Hispanics, and those in poor physical health. A decrease in employment and increases in economic uncertainty are associated with a doubling of common mental disorders. The population-representative survey evidence presented strongly suggests that economic policies which support employment (e.g., job keeping, job search support, stimulus spending) provide not only economic security but also constitute a major health intervention. Moving forward, the economic uncertainty effect ought to be reflected in community level intervention and prevention efforts, which should include strengthening economic support to reduce financial and economic strain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Economic Recession , Mental Disorders/etiology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Employment/economics , Employment/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/economics , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Psychological Distress , Sex Factors , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Uncertainty , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
3.
PLoS One ; 15(9): e0239113, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1383734

ABSTRACT

Social distancing interventions can be effective against epidemics but are potentially detrimental for the economy. Businesses that rely heavily on face-to-face communication or close physical proximity when producing a product or providing a service are particularly vulnerable. There is, however, no systematic evidence about the role of human interactions across different lines of business and about which will be the most limited by social distancing. Here we provide theory-based measures of the reliance of U.S. businesses on human interaction, detailed by industry and geographic location. We find that, before the pandemic hit, 43 million workers worked in occupations that rely heavily on face-to-face communication or require close physical proximity to other workers. Many of these workers lost their jobs since. Consistently with our model, employment losses have been largest in sectors that rely heavily on customer contact and where these contacts dropped the most: retail, hotels and restaurants, arts and entertainment and schools. Our results can help quantify the economic costs of social distancing.


Subject(s)
Commerce/trends , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Employment/trends , Infection Control/economics , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Commerce/standards , Commerce/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Datasets as Topic , Employment/economics , Employment/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/standards , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
4.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0253331, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280626

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the perceptions of firms in April 2020, one month after the Spanish Government declared the state of alarm, about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect their business activity in the following months, and what employment decisions they expect to make in response. The data for the study was collected by the Government of the region of Aragon (Spain) through a survey of a non-randomly selected sample of firms located in the region. In addition to prospects and intended actions, firms were asked whether or not they had applied for ERTE aid (the Spanish job retention scheme to contain the pandemic crisis). We find that firms participating (voluntarily and anonymously) in the survey anticipated rather well the severity of the effects of the pandemic in the following months. The ERTE aid helped firms to maintain the jobs of their inactive employees, while firms that did not ask for aid responded by laying off employees. Further, the ERTE aid helped to maintain the jobs of furloughed employees, but the firms receiving ERTE aid expected to lay off the same proportion of employees as firms without that aid, controlling for the different anticipated effects of the pandemic in the two groups of firms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Employment/economics , Government Programs , Private Sector , Unemployment , Government , Humans , Private Sector/economics , Spain , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
Health Care Women Int ; 41(11-12): 1370-1383, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263586

ABSTRACT

Women are normally self-employed in businesses involving buying and selling of goods. Such businesses were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down. The researchers explored the impact the of COVID-19 lockdown on self-employed women. The researchers used a qualitative approach. Interviews were used to collect data. Forty participants took part in the study. The data was thematically analyzed. The researchers found that participants were affected by Inadequate food supplies, Hopelessness to revive business, Poor access to health services, Psychological trauma, Defaulting medications, and Challenges of keeping children indoors. There is need to provide social and economic support to self-employed women.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Developing Countries/economics , Employment/economics , Quarantine/economics , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Food Insecurity , Humans , Middle Aged , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological , Young Adult , Zambia/epidemiology
7.
J Agromedicine ; 25(4): 374-377, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174762

ABSTRACT

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers and farm workers have been deemed essential workers across the world. Yet, despite working in one of the most dangerous occupations, and despite being especially vulnerable to the virus (due to existing health risk factors and risk of infection stemming from difficulties adopting control measures), many farmers and farm workers in the United States have long lacked essential resources to ensure they can meet their health needs: affordable and accessible health insurance and health care. In this commentary, we draw on our own research focused on farm families and collective experiences to discuss three main challenges farm families have faced meeting their health needs: reliance on off-farm work for health insurance coverage, the need to forecast income when purchasing a plan on the health insurance marketplace, and barriers to health care in rural areas. As we discuss these challenges, we highlight the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is likely exacerbating these pressures. Recognizing that major crises in the past have led to major shifts in economic, social, and political systems, the disruptions brought on by COVID-19 could be leveraged to work toward increasing access to affordable and adequate health insurance and health care. As such, we conclude our commentary by outlining policy reforms and research efforts that are needed to ensure that those working in the farm sector have access to essential resources to preserve their health and safety.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Farms/economics , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Insurance, Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Employment/economics , Farmers/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , United States
9.
Work ; 67(1): 21-28, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007027

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has caused economic slowdown all across the globe. It results in job loss on the one hand and less wages, increased working hours, overqualified employees and part time jobs on the other hand. Low demand of labour and a huge availability of work force will put many in a disadvantageous position, where they will have to compromise with the circumstances by being underemployed. Cabinet decisions, by some Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, to suspend the labour laws related to minimum wage, bonus, working hours and other employee benefits will put workers in a highly disadvantageous position of being underemployed. This may lead to many socio-economic, psychological and health-related implications. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review on the concept of underemployment, its types and consequences. METHODOLOGY: A critical and constructive analysis of the literature was performed. RESULTS: The findings reveal that if employment does not provide workers with proper opportunities to use their education, time, skills and expertise, it can create stressful situations in workers' lives. CONCLUSION: The problem needs both a diagnosis and robust treatment in order to have better outcomes at the individual, organisational and national levels.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/economics , Employment/economics , Employment/psychology , Interpersonal Relations , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Stress, Psychological , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Economic Recession , Health Status , Humans , Income , India/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
11.
J Adolesc Health ; 68(1): 53-56, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922023

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This study aimed to estimate the associations between job insecurity and symptoms of anxiety and depression among U.S. young adults amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We analyzed data on young adults aged 18-26 years from June 15 to June 30, 2020, from the weekly, cross-sectional Household Pulse Survey (n = 4,852) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Two job insecurity measures and four anxiety and depression measures were analyzed using multivariable Poisson regression models adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, and marital status. RESULTS: Fifty-nine percent of participants experienced direct or household employment loss since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 38% were expected to experience direct or household employment loss in the coming 4 weeks. Recent direct or household employment loss and expected direct or household employment loss, among participants who did not experience recent employment loss, were associated with a greater risk of poor mental health on all four measures. CONCLUSIONS: U.S. young adults experience a significant mental health burden as a result of job insecurity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , COVID-19/psychology , Depression , Employment/economics , Mental Health , Adult , Anxiety/ethnology , Anxiety/psychology , Censuses , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/ethnology , Depression/psychology , Educational Status , Female , Humans , Male , United States , Young Adult
12.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(10): e22835, 2020 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-914361

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Essential workers have been shown to present a higher prevalence of positive screenings for anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals from countries with socioeconomic inequalities may be at increased risk for mental health disorders. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess the prevalence and predictors of depression, anxiety, and their comorbidity among essential workers in Brazil and Spain during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A web survey was conducted between April and May 2020 in both countries. The main outcome was a positive screening for depression only, anxiety only, or both. Lifestyle was measured using a lifestyle multidimensional scale adapted for the COVID-19 pandemic (Short Multidimensional Inventory Lifestyle Evaluation-Confinement). A multinomial logistic regression model was performed to evaluate the factors associated with depression, anxiety, and the presence of both conditions. RESULTS: From the 22,786 individuals included in the web survey, 3745 self-reported to be essential workers. Overall, 8.3% (n=311), 11.6% (n=434), and 27.4% (n=1027) presented positive screenings for depression, anxiety, and both, respectively. After adjusting for confounding factors, the multinomial model showed that an unhealthy lifestyle increased the likelihood of depression (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 4.00, 95% CI 2.72-5.87), anxiety (AOR 2.39, 95% CI 1.80-3.20), and both anxiety and depression (AOR 8.30, 95% CI 5.90-11.7). Living in Brazil was associated with increased odds of depression (AOR 2.89, 95% CI 2.07-4.06), anxiety (AOR 2.81, 95%CI 2.11-3.74), and both conditions (AOR 5.99, 95% CI 4.53-7.91). CONCLUSIONS: Interventions addressing lifestyle may be useful in dealing with symptoms of common mental disorders during the strain imposed among essential workers by the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential workers who live in middle-income countries with higher rates of inequality may face additional challenges. Ensuring equitable treatment and support may be an important challenge ahead, considering the possible syndemic effect of the social determinants of health.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Employment/economics , Employment/statistics & numerical data , Health Surveys , Life Style , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Prevalence , Self Report , Socioeconomic Factors , Spain/epidemiology
13.
J Vasc Surg ; 72(6): 1856-1863, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-863661

ABSTRACT

Although the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created havoc with the U.S healthcare system and physicians, the financial and contractual implications for physicians are now beginning to come to the forefront. Financial assistance from the federal government has mainly been received by hospitals, which have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 illness. Some physician groups have, or are, receiving assistance through a few programs, although the accelerated and advance payments have been suspended. Employed surgeons are now being furloughed, terminated, or persuaded to agree to a significant cut in pay, forego bonuses, or take leave without pay as healthcare systems and some physician groups have started to experience the consequences of halting elective procedures. Newly hired surgeons might be forced in a few cases to agree to delays in starting their employment, new amendments, changes in employment status, and other terms for fear of losing their employment. In the present report, we have explained some agreement terminology and options available to allow physicians to understand the terms of their employment agreement and make their decisions after consulting with an expert healthcare attorney.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Employment/economics , Financing, Government/economics , Income , Insurance, Health, Reimbursement/economics , Surgeons/economics , Ambulatory Care/economics , COVID-19/legislation & jurisprudence , Employment/legislation & jurisprudence , Financing, Government/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Insurance, Health, Reimbursement/legislation & jurisprudence , Policy Making , Practice Management, Medical/economics , Surgeons/legislation & jurisprudence , Telemedicine/economics , Time Factors , United States
15.
J Public Health Policy ; 42(1): 160-166, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-798158

ABSTRACT

The United States Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) led to creation of the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as an expansion of reimbursements for telemedicine. CARES Act drafters over emphasized maintaining employment and overlooked negative downstream effects the policies had on outpatient clinics. The misalignment between this financial aid package and public health policy is most apparent in the pressure administrators face to maintain clinic operations, without a transition plan to adopt telemedicine and associated best practices. If this continues, the result will be suboptimal clinical practices and an increased risk of COVID-19 infection to both staff and patients. Particularly in times of crisis, financial aid packages should not be evaluated in isolation; policymakers should consider their implications for public health while designing, enacting, and implementing such measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/economics , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Delivery of Health Care/economics , Delivery of Health Care/legislation & jurisprudence , Public Policy/economics , Public Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19/epidemiology , Employment/economics , Humans , Motivation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
17.
Public Health ; 188: 4-7, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-752969

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Governments and health policymakers are now looking for strategies to lift the COVID-19 lockdown, while reducing risk to the public. METHODS: We propose the population attributable risk (PAR) as an established epidemiological tool that could support decision-making through quickly estimating the main benefits and costs of various exit strategies. RESULTS: We demonstrate the feasibility of use of PAR using pandemic data, that were publicly available in mid-May 2020 from Scotland and the US, to estimate the proportion of COVID-19 hospital admissions which might be avoided, and the proportion of adverse labour market effects - for various scenarios - based on maintaining the lockdown for those of certain ages with and without comorbidities. CONCLUSION: These calculations could be refined and applied in different countries to inform important COVID-19 policy decisions, using routinely collected data.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Public Policy , Risk Assessment/methods , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Employment/economics , Feasibility Studies , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , Scotland/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
18.
Heart Lung Circ ; 29(11): 1588-1595, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-728566

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia. Investment in research solutions has been demonstrated to yield health and a 9.8-fold return economic benefit. The sector, however, is severely challenged with success rates of traditional peer-reviewed funding in decline. Here, we aimed to understand the perceived challenges faced by the cardiovascular workforce in Australia prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We used an online survey distributed across Australian cardiovascular societies/councils, universities and research institutes over a period of 6 months during 2019, with 548 completed responses. Inclusion criteria included being an Australian resident or an Australian citizen who lived overseas, and a current or past student or employee in the field of cardiovascular research. RESULTS: The mean age of respondents was 42±13 years, 47% were male, 85% had a full-time position, and 40% were a group leader or laboratory head. Twenty-three per cent (23%) had permanent employment, and 82% of full-time workers regularly worked >40 hours/week. Sixty-eight per cent (68%) said they had previously considered leaving the cardiovascular research sector. If their position could not be funded in the next few years, a staggering 91% of respondents would leave the sector. Compared to PhD- and age-matched men, women were less likely to be a laboratory head and to feel they had a long-term career path as a cardiovascular researcher, while more women were unsure about future employment and had considered leaving the sector (all p<0.05). Greater job security (76%) and government and philanthropic investment in cardiovascular research (72%) were highlighted by responders as the main changes to current practices that would encourage them to stay. CONCLUSION: Strategic solutions, such as diversification of career pathways and funding sources, and moving from a competitive to a collaborative culture, need to be a priority to decrease reliance on government funding and allow cardiovascular researchers to thrive.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research , Cardiovascular Diseases , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Financial Management , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Research Personnel , Research Support as Topic , Workforce , Adult , Australia , Betacoronavirus , Biomedical Research/economics , Biomedical Research/organization & administration , Biomedical Research/trends , COVID-19 , Employment/economics , Employment/psychology , Female , Financial Management/methods , Financial Management/organization & administration , Financial Management/statistics & numerical data , Financing, Government , Humans , Male , Organizational Culture , Pandemics , Planning Techniques , Research Personnel/economics , Research Personnel/psychology , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Research Support as Topic/organization & administration , Research Support as Topic/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workforce/statistics & numerical data
20.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 39(10): 1822-1831, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695660

ABSTRACT

The recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic has resulted in unprecedented job losses in the United States, disrupting health insurance coverage for millions of people. Several models have predicted large increases in Medicaid enrollment among those who have lost jobs, yet the number of Americans who have gained coverage since the pandemic began is unknown. We compiled Medicaid enrollment reports covering the period from March 1 through June 1, 2020, for twenty-six states. We found that in these twenty-six states, Medicaid covered more than 1.7 million additional Americans in roughly a three-month period. Relative changes in Medicaid enrollment differed significantly across states, although enrollment growth was not systemically related to job losses. Our results point to the important effects of state policy differences in the response to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Eligibility Determination/statistics & numerical data , Employment/statistics & numerical data , Insurance Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Medicaid/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Databases, Factual , Eligibility Determination/methods , Employment/economics , Female , Humans , Incidence , Insurance, Health/organization & administration , Male , Medically Uninsured/statistics & numerical data , Needs Assessment , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Time Factors , United States
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