Employees in five industries will especially feel the effects of the new vaccine mandate — management, utilities, information, finance and insurance, and administration and waste management services.
More than 80% of the workforce for those five industries are employed by businesses with a staff of at least 100 employees, which means they’ll be required to get a vaccine or a weekly Covid-19 test. That’s according to 2018 data on US businesses, the most recent data released by the Census Bureau in May.
The rules that President Joe Biden announced last week would apply to more than 80 million working Americans, about two-thirds of the workforce. There are 43 million employees who work at companies that employ fewer than 100 people — and who are not covered by that federal vaccine mandate.
A majority of the employees in all but four industries would be included in the mandate. But in some sectors like construction and agriculture, where most businesses are small, only 1 in 3 employees would be included. Only about half of the jobs in the hospitality sector will be affected, in part because many fast food restaurants are independently managed as franchises.
In four states and the District of Columbia, the mandate applies to at least 70% of employees.
Tennessee is the state with the highest percentage of both employees and businesses included in the mandate. Nearly 30% of its businesses and 71% of all employees would be subject to the new vaccine requirements.
A recent Goldman Sachs analysis warns of a short-term risk as some employees are expected to quit rather than agree to the new requirements. However, it said the Biden administration’s option for regular testing instead of the vaccine will likely mitigate some of the turnover. The analysis also predicts vaccine-refusing employees “should be able to” find new jobs among small companies not included in the vaccine requirements.
Companies in the health care and retail sectors will see the most employees covered by the new mandate, around 26 million between the two.
Health care workers represent the largest group affected by the new rules in both Tennessee and Arizona — the state with the second-highest percentage of its workers affected by the new rules after Tennessee.
Of the 80 million employees covered under the vaccine mandate, roughly 38 million workers in sectors with predominantly people-facing roles — health care, retail, hospitality, education, and arts and entertainment — will eventually be vaccinated or routinely tested.
The requirements are forecast to have a positive effect on the economy over the medium term, according to Goldman Sachs. Higher vaccination rates will reduce the spread of the virus and encourage some employees who are afraid for their safety to return to work, allowing some struggling industries to rebound.
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