Vaccine requirements in job postings drop

​The number of employers requiring job applicants to be vaccinated before starting a new position continues to decline.

About 5.9% of job postings in the United States listed vaccinations as a necessity for applicants as of June 30, according to new analysis by AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab.

The share of job postings mentioning a vaccine requirement has slowly declined since its pandemic-era peak of 7.1% on March 12.

“It’s not a huge drop, but the trend is clearly down,” Konkel said. “This trend is very much dependent on what is happening with COVID and the public health situation. As long as new variants remain hot topics, this will continue to be a persistent aspect. What if there was a terrible increase in cases, I would expect the vaccine requirements would go up.”

Konkel added that she may also anticipate that vaccine requirements in job postings will disappear altogether in the future. “We’re not there yet, and the path to get there will depend on the virus.”

New cases of the virus are on the rise again, but most people have some level of immunity, either through vaccination or previous infection, warding off a bigger crisis for now. About 77% of the US adult population is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 90% received at least one dose of vaccine.

There were hardly any job openings requiring any type of vaccination before the COVID-19 pandemic, Konkel said. Vaccination against COVID-19 became widespread in late spring and summer 2021, and employers began including vaccination requirements in job postings around August 2021, she added. .

It is also possible that some employers will ask for proof of vaccination at a later stage in the hiring process, so as not to put off candidates with a potential obstacle early on.

“Vaccination is a hot topic, and employers are trying to hire the talent they need,” Konkel said. “In a tight labor market, employers want to avoid alienating potential job seekers and therefore may be reluctant to advertise vaccination requirements.”

Requirements for federal workers and some health care workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus remain in place.

State, other variants

The share of job openings requiring vaccination has fallen in all states, but there is still a lot of fluctuation from state to state. For example, 11.7% of job postings in Oregon list vaccination as a prerequisite, the highest share of any state, according to Indeed. And in stark contrast, only 2.2% of job postings in Montana mention vaccination.

“Employers on the West Coast and New England are more likely to request workplace vaccinations, and other parts of the country less so,” Konkel said. “I think it’s more evidence that employers are trying to be savvy and read the play. The political orientation of a state or metro area is a big factor in whether job postings specify the required vaccination, and employers seem to respond to local opinion.”

Major cities and blue-leaning geographies top the job postings announcing vaccination. Surprisingly, remote jobs are more likely than in-person jobs to require vaccination, according to data from Indeed.

“At first glance, this seems odd,” Konkel said, because one would assume that retail, restaurant and personal care workers are more likely to be vaccinated than software developers working from home. “Shouldn’t job postings in in-person sectors mention vaccination requirements more than postings in remote sectors, where work involves less face-to-face contact?” she asked.

But she surmised the answer could again be employers tailoring requirements to certain types of workers. For example, workers with a college degree — who have the highest vaccination rates across all education levels — are more likely to work in occupations that can be performed remotely.

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