Many businesses want their workforces back in force and healthy. According to Indeed, the number of open job postings requiring a COVID-19 vaccine was 34 percent higher than the previous month. The news comes as the delta variant of the virus is surging in many states across the U.S., particularly in the South, which has been described as “burning” with Covid.
In recent days, several major corporations in the U.S. have stated that they will mandate COVID vaccinations for the majority of its workers, including Google, Walmart, United Airlines, Tyson, and McDonald’s, to name a few. The Pentagon also announced that its service members would be mandated to get the vaccine by the middle of September.
Heidi Capozzi, a global chief people officer for McDonald’s, said: “Since the Town Hall, we’ve heard from many of you that you would feel more comfortable returning to the office if you had more certainty your colleagues were vaccinated. We are also being asked by state and local governments to require vaccinations for corporate employees because getting more of the population vaccinated reduces our own chances of being infected and contributes to community protection.”
Some job listings are also listing vaccinations as a requirement without being specific. Those ads that have general requirements concerning a vaccine are up by 90 percent over the past month. However, it’s generally assumed that those ads are also focused on preventing COVID outbreaks in their workforce.
Ann Elizabeth Konkel, an Indeed economist, said: “They don’t mean the polio vaccine. It’s so apparent (they mean COVID-19).”
The rise in vaccine requirements from employers happens just as June had a record high-number of job openings in the U.S.
But despite those numbers, Konkel said the percentage of job openings mandating a vaccine is still small.
For instance, only about 438 job listings out of a million software-development positions required vaccination in July. But, it did mark an increase of over 10,000 percent from February’s listings. At that time, Covid vaccinations weren’t as widely available as they are now.
Many other occupations and industries, such as marketing, retail, and accounting, have similar trends as the software industry.
Konkel noted, “Broadly, the trend is more job postings are requiring the COVID-19 vaccine. I really think we’re on the cusp of a potentially booming trend.”
Konkel believes that the trend will become more standard and lead to hesitant employers following suit in the requirements. Once the FDA gives full approval of any of the COVID-19 vaccines, it is expected that even more companies will mandate the vaccine.
So far, the Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J vaccines have received emergency-use approval. But, it’s expected that Pfizer will soon receive full authorization of its vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci says if that happens, “you’re going to see the empowerment of local enterprises, giving mandates that could be colleges, universities, places of business, a whole variety, and I strongly support that.”
According to the CDC, this past week, the seven-day average of new cases of Covid rose 64 percent from two weeks ago, numbering 114,000 infections. That marked its highest level of cases since February. In harder hit areas like Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, those cases have either tripled or quadrupled.
The majority of the newer cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are among unvaccinated people. The CDC says 59 percent of eligible Americans have been fully vaccinated thus far.