Record number of Americans missed work due to illness in January

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Feb 3, 2022; Boulder, Colorado, USA; General view of a guest relations personal holding a Covid-19 facial mask required sign during the first half against the Oregon Ducks at the CU Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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Feb 4 (Reuters) - A record number of people, totaling more than 3.6 million, were unable to work due to illness during the week that officials gathered data for the benchmark U.S. monthly employment report, which coincided with the peak in infections from COVID-19.

Labor Department data released on Friday showed that figure was up from nearly 1.7 million in December. The survey for January's report was conducted during the week of Jan. 9-15, the week that infections driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant peaked in the United States. The data on absences from illness dates to 1976.

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Reporting By Dan Burns Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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