August 16, 2021
Vaccination is increasingly a requirement to be hired, as employers ranging from accounting and software firms to schools and restaurants are asking applicants to get themselves inoculated against COVID-19, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The share of job postings stating that a new hire must be vaccinated has nearly doubled in the past month, according to the job search site Indeed.
The total number remains low, roughly 1,200 postings requiring a vaccination per million in the first week of August. But that is well up from about 600 in early July, and about 50 per million job postings in early February.
Many of the postings don’t explicitly name COVID-19 as the virus for which the vaccination is needed, said Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel, who wrote the report, but broader context of the job descriptions suggested most employers were referring to the coronavirus vaccine, as opposed to other shots.
“While the number of postings requiring a vaccine is still low, it’s a trend that’s really taking off,” Konkel told the Journal. “I think a growing number of employers are trying to keep workers safe and do not want to shut down again this winter….They see vaccines as the way out of this pandemic.”
The increased number of job postings requiring vaccination comes at a time when the number of coronavirus cases is surging because of the fast-spreading Delta variant. Employers ranging from the federal government and State of California to McDonald’s and Walt Disney are saying that at least some of their workers must soon be vaccinated against COVID-19 to report to worksites—or, in some cases, face frequent testing or other requirements.
Consumer sentiment in the United States soured early this month as Americans grew more worried about the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, according to a University of Michigan survey released on Friday, August 13.
The university’s index of consumer sentiment fell sharply to 70.2 in the first half of August—down from 81.2 in July. Consumers reasoned that the economy’s performance would weaken in coming months, said Richard Curtin, the survey’s chief economist, adding, “the extraordinary surge in negative economic assessments also reflects an emotional response, mainly from dashed hopes that the pandemic would soon end.”
As evidence, the share of job postings, per million, in the education sector that required a vaccination rose to 2,166 in July from 33 in February, according to Indeed. In food service, the rate per million rose to 814 in July from 43 in February. The rate per million for accounting rose to 1,184 from 39, and in software development the rate increased to 438 from four.
Konkel told the Journal that there is no evidence in Indeed data that job searchers are looking specifically for positions that require or don’t require vaccinations. She said some job postings mention that the existing staff have been vaccinated or that the company is offering a small bonus to workers willing to be vaccinated.
“The labor market is tight enough that there will likely be employers who are willing to overlook vaccination status,” she said.
Research contact: @WSJ