Job seekers are less likely to be asked to get the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment as the national vaccination rate plateaus and cases decline.
A new analysis published by job listing website Indeed found that fewer job openings request applicants be fully vaccinated as a qualification for employment than in previous months.
The number of times COVID-19 vaccination was included in job listings peaked on March 12, when about 7% of listings on Indeed included the requirement in their descriptions.
As of April 29, 6.7% of job listings in the United States required applicants to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at Indeed, told CNBC that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic there were essentially no listings on the website that required an employee to be vaccinated. While the requirement rapidly began to appear in listings posted after the onset of the global pandemic in 2020, Indeed noted the trend appears to be steadily receding.
“I believe the downward trend is indicative of whether employers think advertising required vaccination will help them attract the workers they want,” Konkel said.
“Advertising required vaccination is a way to appeal to certain groups of workers but at the same time, Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are now lower than during the fall and winter,” she said. “Employers may be hypothesizing that if the pandemic isn’t at the forefront of workers’ minds, advertising required vaccination isn’t going to appeal in the same way it did a few months ago.”
In September 2021, President Joe Biden attempted to make vaccination mandates a ubiquitous condition of employment through a set of executive orders. Under one order, any private business with more than 100 employees would be required to enforce a vaccination mandate or require weekly testing for unvaccinated employees.
Biden also issued a vaccination mandate for all federal government employees and contractors as well as healthcare workers at any facility that accepted federal funding.
The orders were ultimately blocked following legal challenges.
Employee vaccination requirements have had mixed receptions in individual states.
As of August, 20 states — including Washington, Massachusetts, Oregon, Hawaii, and Kentucky — had issued vaccine mandates for government employees.
Other states have moved to prevent employers from requiring employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation earlier this year that barred employers from issuing a vaccine mandate without allowing for five types of exemptions, including for medical or religious reasons and in the case of COVID-19 immunity. The law remains in effect until June of 2023.
In April, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed into law a bill that bans state and local governments from making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment. The policy also provides some protections for employees for private companies that may also implement a vaccination requirement.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 76% of the adult population in the U.S. is fully vaccinated. Cases of COVID-19 have continued to decline since the weekly average peaked in mid-January at roughly 808,000 per week. Currently, the U.S. averages just over 66,000 cases of COVID-19 each week — similar to the weekly average recorded by the CDC in March 2020. At the pandemic’s 2021 peak in mid-January, the CDC recorded an average of just over 250,000 cases per week.