Workplace vaccination mandates may exacerbate already challenging labor shortages
From the beginning of the pandemic, many issues have polarized – from wearing masks to mandated shutdowns, from capacity constraints and now to proof of vaccine mandates – whether it be to enter businesses or now, to keep one’s job.
Business verticals that depend on hourly part-time workers such as hospitality, retail and transportation have been hit particularly hard with workers opting out and some completely changing careers.
Most published data on workplace vaccine mandates report total US data which paints a more favorable outlook because it includes working and non-working Americans. Data also typically includes those who are and are not vaccinated. When you filter data to those it will actually impact, the unvaccinated working population, it tells a more accurate picture.
Workplace vax mandates may lead to unintended consequences on part-time worker labor shortages.
Part-time workers, who tend to be younger and more diverse, are more likely to NOT be vaccinated vs. full time workers
Not vaccinated: 37% part-time vs 28% for full-time workers
Not interested in ever getting vaccinated: 17% part-time vs 12% for full-time workers
Fully vaccinated: 48% part-time vs 57% for full-time workers
Unvaccinated workers would rather leave vs rolling up their sleeves.
Coming back to our premise of Joy vs. Fear - for many of the unvaccinated, the fear (lack of trust, fear of side effects, desire for more testing) is greater than the joy of staying at the moment.
% Part time workers – 3x more likely to quit vs take the shot
68% Quit, not take it, and look for a job that doesn’t require it
23% Take the vaccine to keep my job
% Full Time workers – Just under 2x more likely to quit vs take the shot
56% Quit, not take it and look for a job that doesn’t require it
31% Take the vaccine to keep their job
One thing we know, the workplace will never be the same.
So what? Now what?
Politics aside, vaccine hesitancy is real. Covid has already created monumental shifts in the way we work. So, we shouldn’t under-estimate the potential impact of this. Businesses should expect to have turn-over when/if workplace mandates are rolled out, as long as employment choices are still readily available.
Can part-time workers afford not to work? For how long? Are they passionate enough about their part-time job to stay? Could we have predicted these current amplified turnover challenges? Probably not.
Time will tell how this will unfold. One thing we know, the workplace will never be the same.
Survey data collected week ending September 20, 2021 by Lisa W. Miller & Associates and Prodege, LLC from a representative sample of 1001 adults 18 years and older.
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