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COVID-19 and the Missouri Workforce

February 8, 2022
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Ramon Martinez III

Executive Summary 

As of February 2022, roughly 1 in 6 Missourians (~1,091,000) have been confirmed to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has had broad impacts on a variety of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, and agriculture, which has accelerated shifts in commerce and employment-seeking. Twenty-two states employ state-level safety measures approved by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which recommends health and sanitary measures to prevent the spread of infections. Trends toward automation and remote work have accelerated during the pandemic, and technology-related skills are likely to remain in high demand.


  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recommended face coverings, frequent testing, and social distancing as workforce mitigation strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Missouri currently has a 55% vaccination rate across all eligible groups. Unvaccinated persons are at a 23 times higher hospitalization risk during the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 has had negative impacts on the Missouri economy and workforce, including:
    • Outbreaks and supply chain issues have led to delays and increased prices in the manufacturing of goods and agricultural/food products.
    • Healthcare workers report higher levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout.
  • Employment levels in Missouri have improved over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, but have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. 


  • While pre-existing trends in job mobility were accelerated during the pandemic, it is yet unclear how long these trends will continue and/or decline.
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