Vaccines at Work: New Requirements For The US Labor Market

Vaccines at Work: New Requirements For The US Labor Market

Curious about how new vaccine mandates are being expressed in the labor market?

We analyzed recent job postings to help answer your questions about new vaccine mandates on the US labor market.


  • Nearly 150,000 US jobs posted required full vaccination 
  • The percentage of jobs with a vaccine mandate increased to 8.1%
    • This percentage has been increasing rapidly since summer
  • Rhode Island, Washington, and the District of Columbia led the nation with full vaccination list as a job requirement

Finding employees to fill open positions has never been more difficult. Yet the need to assure the safety of workers and work environments is critical, with mandates being set for vaccination at the Federal level in the United States. Since the mandate set by the White House was temporarily halted, workplace are free to set their own conditions of employment when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations. 

In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which periodically updates its guidance for workplace vaccination questions, said that the federal anti-discrimination laws it enforces don’t prohibit employers from requiring all employees who physically enter the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19. 

In response to the changing nature of worksite vaccination requirements, Textkernel has undertaken research to shed light on the status of open positions. In this article, we take a close look at vaccination mandates across different industries, job categories, and states from September 1 until November 9, 2021.

What is vaccination mandates across different industries, job categories, and states?

When we look at all jobs in the US, across each sector and location, we clearly see a dramatic rise in full vaccination requirements.

Yet, there is a clear and somewhat surprising disparity between industries.

Certainly it isn’t a big surprise that jobs in the public sector have the highest vaccine mandate percentage, at 14.6% of all jobs requiring the shots. Education and health care are both above average, with figures that may seem low to some. Yet there is no clear explanation for the high percentage in agriculture and real estate.

However, it does come as a worrysome surprise that jobs in accommodation and food service are not requiring vaccination at significant rates, especially given that these are the employees with the most frequent public interaction.

The sciences, including life science, physics, social science, computer science and mathematics, consistently list required vaccinations over 10% of the time. Yet, like hospitality, the jobs in production, sales, and construction professions mandate vaccines only around 3% of the time.

How states differ

As we analyze the map, several points of interest come to light. Of each of the jobs listed for work in a particular state, three states lead the country: Rhode Island, Washington, and the District of Columbia, each with more than 10% of positions listed requiring full vaccination.

At the bottom of the list are Texas, Wyoming and Montana, each of which has only 4% of their job listings requiring COVID-19 vaccines.

Political Alignment?

Based on the results of the 2020 Presidential Election, states that were won by Democrats averaged 7.0% of all jobs requiring full vaccination. States that were secured by the Republican nominee listed only 5.0% of positions with the same requirement.


Zooming in on some of the big corporations in the US, the following demonstrates key disparities in vaccination requirements:

1. Three healthcare related companies topped the list with the percentage of jobs requiring vaccination pre-employment:

  • Veterans’ Health Administration 83.7%
  • Merck & Co. 81.1%
  • UnitedHealth Group 72%

2. Amazon: 26%

3. At Wal-Mart: 3%

4. UPS: < 1%.

International comparison

Comparing the US data with other countries shows that Canada is leading the list, with the US close behind. In Europe, only in the United Kingdom there some jobs that require a vaccination, predominantly in health care roles.

It is important to note that European regulations do not allow employers to ask employees to be vaccinated again COVID-19. This is true even in the very jobs that one would desire vaccinations.

Jobfeed analysis


The demand for vaccinated employees is rapidly increasing month by month. As public service roles top the list, it is remarkable that in industries and professions with a high degree of public, face-to-face interaction are not requiring the vaccine.

NOTE: SHRM reported that employers that encourage or require vaccinations must consider reasonable accommodations when employees refuse to get vaccinated for medical reasons, including pregnancy-related reasons, or based on sincerely held religious beliefs, unless an accommodation would cause undue hardship for the business.


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