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Worker absenteeism hits U.S. industries as Omicron variant spreads

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Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi discusses how U.S. companies have been impacted by the Omicron variant.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: The Census Department this week released some data that gives us a hint as to the effect of the Omicron variant on the labor force. We've also been getting some hints from some executives, Brian Sozzi. And the picture is not great.

BRIAN SOZZI: Not great indeed. So I'm locking in today, Julie, and a couple of good charts out of Goldman Sachs, the first one being this rise in worker absenteeism. As you could see on the screen right there, Goldman noting the share of the adult population not working due to COVID-related reasons almost tripled from December to January. And on that chart, obviously, you can see that big spike there that really coincides, I think, with the spread and increase in infections due, in large part, to the Omicron variant.

And then, secondarily, this is impacting a lot of different industries, the education industry, the manufacturing industry, and of course, the trucking industry as well. I would even argue the railroads. We heard some of this commentary last night out of CSX on its earnings call. So you can see the industries right there being impacted by this worker absenteeism. And we asked P&G's CEO Jon Moeller about this earlier in the week, if he's seeing worker absenteeism in his plans, which, in large part, may be contributing to a lot of these grocery stores seeing empty shelves.

JON MOELLER: Of course. In the middle of large COVID outbreaks in different parts of the world, there are quarantine needs. My children aren't at school and need to be cared for. I have a family member who needs to be tended to. I have difficulty securing transportation. All of those affect daily availability of people to do their jobs. But they're working through it in a very, very impressive and committed way.

BRIAN SOZZI: Now on a positive note here, Julie, I was still able to buy some new Dawn Powerwash from P&G. That was on the shelves. But you go down many other aisles, and there's a lot of products out of stock right now. Of course, pet food is one of them, in large part because we're seeing worker absenteeism in these pet food plants due to the ongoing pandemic.

JULIE HYMAN: Well, and besides just supply chain issues, I think we can also extrapolate to what all of this is going to mean for the next jobs report and therefore, what the Fed is going to be watching and whether it's going to slow its roll a little bit maybe because of some of these numbers. But I guess we'll have to wait and see how all of that goes in terms of it being data dependent. Brian Sozzi, I hope you have a fantastic weekend. Great work.

BRIAN SOZZI: Back at ya.

JULIE HYMAN: This week has been a busy one.

BRIAN SOZZI: You, too.

JULIE HYMAN: We will--

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