Job postings that require applicants to be vaccinated against COVID-19 skyrocketed in August amid a sharp increase in coronavirus cases, according to data released Thursday by hiring website Indeed.
In the seven days ending Aug. 30, the share of job postings on Indeed that required COVID-19 vaccinations rose 119 percent from the same period in July. Job postings that mentioned a general vaccination requirement, but not COVID-19 specifically, rose by 242 percent over the same period.
The sharp increase in vaccination requirements came as the delta variant drove a staggering rise in COVID-19 cases and wiped out job growth in crucial sectors last month.
The U.S. added just 235,00 jobs in August amid the delta surge, dropping sharply from the nearly 1.1 million gained in July and falling well short of the 750,000 gain expected by economists.
While vaccine-dependent job openings made up less than 1 percent of all ads on Indeed, “employers are undoubtedly wondering how they can keep their business’s recovery on track,” wrote AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab.
“Vaccine requirements are a way to keep staff and customers safer and business operations running,” she continued, noting that some employers have asked applicants to upload proof of vaccination or have offered vaccine-related bonuses.
Vaccination requirements increased at the sharpest rate for openings for personal and home health aides, medical technicians, therapists, and community and social service positions — all of which involve substantial in-person interaction. But requirements also increased sharply in other fields with greater capacities for teleworking.
Nearly 2% of personal care and home health job postings included vaccination requirements as of August 30, up from less than 0.5% a month ago. And the rise isn’t just in fully in-person sectors, its happening in legal, media & comms too.— AnnElizabeth Konkel (@AE_Konkel) September 9, 2021
Several major companies have also announced vaccine requirements and penalties for unvaccinated employees since the delta surge began, though others have held off over concerns it could make it even harder to fill a record number of job openings.
President BidenJoe BidenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks GOP Rep. Cawthorn likens vaccine mandates to 'modern-day segregation' MORE is also set to announce a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all federal employees and contractors during a speech Thursday, removing the option of being tested regularly instead of getting vaccinated.
Konkel said a small but growing proportion of job-seekers were looking for jobs that specifically did not require COVID-19 vaccinations, predominantly in health care, one of the first industries to impose vaccine mandates.
Nearly 60 percent of searches for jobs without vaccine requirements came from the search term “no vaccine required nursing,” she added, an alarming sign as nursing homes struggle to hire and retain workers willing to get the shot.
“Time will tell how much further this trend goes,” she wrote.