Your COVID-19 vaccination status could soon matter to a prospective employer as much as your skills and qualifications for a new job as a growing number of employers are requiring vaccinated workforces.
The share of job postings per million that include COVID-19 vaccination requirements are up 34% in the first week of August compared with the same time period in July, according to a new analysis by Indeed Hiring Lab. Job postings that require vaccination without explicitly stating COVID-19 are up 90% over the same time period.
“We have these exploding case numbers and the science tells us that vaccinations are the way that we get out of the pandemic,” AnnElizabeth Konkel, economist at Indeed Hiring Lab, told Yahoo Money. “Employers are kind of up against the wall...we need to start requiring it.”
The country’s employers are “on the cusp” of an “exploding trend” of including vaccination requirements in job descriptions for new hires, Konkel said, alongside minimum qualifications like education level, license or a certificate, or years of experience.
When COVID-19 vaccines began to roll out at the start of the year, job descriptions that mentioned vaccination statuses were “almost zero — a negligible number.” But even in the second half of the year “it’s still an “incredibly small fraction of jobs,” Konkel added for perspective.
Delta Airlines made a splash in May when the company said it would require vaccination for new hires. Since then, and especially in the last several weeks, a growing number of private and public employers have announced workforce vaccination requirements, with big tech coming out in strong support of widespread mandates.
That's reflected in Indeed’s data with job postings for software development showing the largest increase from February to July when postings that included vaccination requirements went from only 3.5 per million to 437.9 per million, marking an increase of over 12,000%.
Even roles in sectors that can conceivably be accomplished remotely — software development, marketing, sales — have seen some of the highest swings in vaccination mandates. Konkel said this could be one way employers can keep their staffers healthy, while also keeping the door open to future in-person events.
“Eventually people want to be able to meet again,” she said, pointing out traveling or gathering for corporate retreats or in-person meetings will resume only when a critical mass of employees feels safe and protected.
Still, “it's not a huge fraction” of job descriptions that include the requirement, but “it potentially may grow into that,” she said. For now, she suspects the trend for all-vaccinated employees is being led by small businesses. Other job postings touted company-wide vaccination status, she noted, which could function as a pre-screener for candidate compatibility without posting requirements.
Employers have a big incentive to ensuring existing employees and new hires are vaccinated, Konkel said, because that “gets rid of that big hurdle for getting back to normal.”