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Indeed finds increase in employers requiring vaccination from applicants

Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel breaks down Indeed's latest repot on vaccination requirements.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: Something else we're watching in the background is the escalating cases of COVID-19 and the impact that's having on the reopening trade, the economy, all of it. Let's bring into the stream right now our next guest, Annelizabeth Konkel, indeed.com's economist. It's good to have you here. Anne, one of the things that your firm, the website, which has been around helping people find employment since-- I think it's 2004-- you're noticing an increase in the number of employers requiring vaccination before you can be employed. Tell us more about this.

ANNELIZABETH KONKEL: It's exactly that. We are seeing a rise in the share of job postings that are containing phrases like "require vaccination," "must be vaccinated," "must have COVID-19 vaccine." And so what this really means is it may be the start of a wider trend that may kick off throughout the fall. As of August 7, the share of job postings per million that required being vaccinated against COVID-19 explicitly was up 34% month over month. For job postings that just mentioned vaccination broadly-- some are not explicitly saying COVID-19-- that was up 90% month over month. So definitely a trend that may take off in the coming weeks and months.

- Annelizabeth, this is Emily. I wanted to ask, does your data show whether the companies that have this vaccine requirement-- have they been able to fill these open positions faster than, as fast as, or slower than average? So in other words, does it seem like these vaccine requirements have a bearing on how desirable these rules are for job seekers?

ANNELIZABETH KONKEL: So I did not take a look explicitly at applications, but just the fact that these job postings are spread across a variety of sectors points to this being a trend in the national economy. This is not isolated just to health care jobs. We see some software development jobs, accounting, marketing listing this in the job description. And that's really meaningful because we did not see that prior to this year.

ADAM SHAPIRO: When we take a look at the sectors where these requirements-- obviously, education, dramatic increases. But things that you would think would be kind of obvious-- not only education, but food preparation and service. And yet in the midst of a labor shortage, the employers are saying must have the vaccine. Is there any chance they would pull back from that because of the labor shortage?

ANNELIZABETH KONKEL: Not right now. I think the goal of employers is to keep their staff safe and also to keep their customers safe as well. And we are heading into the fall, winter. I think employers are thinking, oh, my gosh. I don't want to go through another COVID winter of potential shutdowns or staff getting sick. And this is a way to try to prevent that. At the end of the day, the vaccine is the best option we have to try to end the pandemic. And it's the only tool we have right now.

- And Annelizabeth, the Labor Department's latest data show that job openings were last at a record high of more than 10 million. I'm wondering what factors you're still seeing as keeping many of these individuals on the sidelines-- of course, childcare concerns, concerns about actually catching the virus have been at play here. But are any other factors still lingering as it relates to the labor force?

ANNELIZABETH KONKEL: So a big factor continues to be COVID-19. So many of us, including myself, want to be done with the pandemic, but it's simply not over yet. As you mentioned, childcare is a factor, particularly watching to see what happens with schools this fall. That's a huge wild card right there. Also, we have found at Indeed that some job seekers have a financial cushion, but waiting to see what happens with that. We are seeing that in the personal income and outlays data that that cushion may be wearing thin.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I'm going to switch gears slightly-- cryptocurrencies. And if we can pull up Bitcoin, it's trading $46,437 a coin. It's back above $46,000. The crypto market now tops $2 trillion. So no surprise, perhaps, that there is a rising increase in people searching for jobs in the crypto industry. But what do those jobs look like?

ANNELIZABETH KONKEL: So it's definitely a mix of jobs. It used to be more in the software development space, but now it is including human resources, marketing, and so really moving into those support functions, which highlights that it's not just a fringe concept with a couple of people in a basement somewhere. It's really becoming a fledgling industry. And that has a real labor market impact.

Now, I will say that for the job postings trend in cryptocurrency as well as the searches, there is a high correlation with the price. I took a look at the correlation with the closing price of Bitcoin and a Ethereum, really strong correlation there. So if there would be a bust in the crypto markets, that could have, certainly, a negative impact on the crypto labor market. But it's definitely something to watch.

- And in that same vein, for the companies that are seeking workers in crypto and blockchain, what types and sizes of companies are we actually talking about here? Are these major corporations that are just creating new crypto departments and roles, or are these startups that have been really starting out in the crypto space to begin with?

ANNELIZABETH KONKEL: So it's a whole mix. It can be anywhere from a startup to the opposite side of that crypto finance or thinking about potential regulation. But it could be anything, really, related to the crypto and blockchain space, which it may continue growing, especially with such a spotlight on it in recent weeks with the infrastructure bill.

ADAM SHAPIRO: We appreciate the insight. Annelizabeth Konkel is an economist at Indeed. You can find them at indeed.com. Look forward to when you come back so we can update some of those results.