Projected All-Cause Deaths Attributable to COVID-19–Related Unemployment in the United States. By: Matthay, Ellicott C.; Duchowny, Kate A.; Riley, Alicia R.; Galea, Sandro. American Journal of Public Health. Apr2021, Vol. 111 Issue 4, p696-699. 4p.

Objectives. To project the range of excess deaths potentially associated with COVID-19–related unemployment in the United States and quantify inequities in these estimates by age, race/ethnicity, gender, and education.

Methods. We used previously published meta-analyzed hazard ratios (HRs) for the unemployment–mortality association, unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics to estimate 1-year age-standardized deaths attributable to COVID-19–related unemployment for US workers aged 25 to 64 years. To accommodate uncertainty, we tested ranges of unemployment and HR scenarios.

Results. Our best estimate is that there will be 30 231 excess deaths attributable to COVID-19–related unemployment between April 2020 and March 2021. Across scenarios, attributable deaths ranged from 8315 to 201 968. Attributable deaths were disproportionately high among Blacks, men, and those with low education.

Conclusions. Deaths attributable to COVID-19–related unemployment will add to those directly associated with the virus and will disproportionately burden groups already experiencing incommensurate COVID-19 mortality.

Public Health Implications. Supportive economic policies and interventions addressing long-standing harmful social structures are essential to mitigate the unequal health harms of COVID-19.