Do vaccine mandates help or hinder recovery? In the case of the US, both, according to Goldman:
Last week, President Biden announced vaccine requirements for 100mnworkers, with mandates for all federal employees and most healthcare workers, and a vaccine or testing requirement for all workers at large private firms with100+ employees.
We estimate that the requirements will apply to about 25mn currently unvaccinated individuals, and boost the number of vaccinated individuals by12mn (or 3.6% of the total population) through March next year, based on surveys and France’s experience with vaccine requirements. We now expect 82% of the total population (and 90% of adults) to be vaccinated with a first dose by mid-2022.
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We see some downside employment risk in the near term, as 7mn affected workers report that they will definitely not get the vaccine, and vaccine mandates imposed by health care providers earlier this summer caused some workers to leave their jobs. The mandate’s testing option should dampen negative employment effects, however, and many workers that do decide to quit should be able to find jobs at smaller firms not subject to the mandate.
The medium-run net employment impact is likely positive since higher full lvaccination rates will reduce virus spread, which should boost labor demand in high-contact services and labor force participation among some of the 3mnpeople who currently aren’t working due to virus-spread concerns.