According to the survey, about 5% of unvaccinated adults quit their jobs after the deadline.

People shout anti-government slogans as they arrive at City Hall to protest the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine in New York, October 25, 2021.

Eduardo Muñoz | Reuters

According to review published on Thursday By the Kaiser Family Foundation.

This early reading about whether workers will actually quit mandated jobs comes as more employers are clamoring for injections. A quarter of workers surveyed by the KFF in October said their employer required them to be vaccinated, up from 9% in June and 19% last month.

In September, President Joe Biden announced that businesses with 100 or more employees are tasked with providing workers with Covid vaccinations or weekly testing for the virus. It is estimated that this mandate, which is still pending, will, once completed, cover approximately two thirds of the private sector staff. The Kaiser poll only asked if people quit because of the need for the vaccine, and not because of the need for a vaccine with testing options.

More than a third of unvaccinated workers said they would quit smoking rather than adhering to vaccine or testing guidelines, according to a Kaiser survey, and that proportion rises to 72% if a test option is not offered. But since the nationwide mandate has yet to be formally implemented by the Department of Labor, it remains to be seen what proportion of workers will leave when the broader part of the US workforce is reached.

“Right now, only a quarter of workers say their employer has asked them to get a vaccine, so claims these workers will quit their jobs are still pretty hypothetical,” said Lunna Lopez, senior research analyst at the Kaiser Family Foundation. … Nevertheless, according to Lopez, the results of the survey provide “an idea of ​​the attitude of people” to requirements.

The data show that workers already covered by the mandate are more likely to have higher family incomes, identify themselves as Democrats, and already be vaccinated. The poll results also show a continuing bias over Covid-19 vaccines, with 32% of Republican respondents saying they know someone who resigned due to mandate, compared with 14% of Democrats who said the same.

The Kaiser interviewed 1,519 randomly selected American adults from October 14-24.

US business groups have opposed the upcoming mandate, asking the White House to postpone the rule until the end of the holiday season.

“We fully support the vaccine, we have distributed the vaccine, we have spent millions to incentivize employees to receive the vaccine,” said Ed Egi, who is involved in government relations and staff development at the National Retail Federation. retail trade association. But Egi said putting employers in the middle of a debate that is “controversial and political, whether we like it or not,” would create significant implementation problems and risk potential staff shortages ahead of the holidays.

Egi said the NRF has asked the White House for a 90-day implementation period to allow time to check the vaccination status of employees, review requests for exceptions, and develop weekly testing plans.

When asked about survey data indicating that a small proportion of adults quit their jobs because of the mandate, Egi noted that there are likely to be significant geographic differences behind national numbers. Employers in the South and in the mountains of the West are likely to see higher levels of worker resistance, he said.

The National Association of Producers, in a letter to the federal government last week, said the loss of even a small proportion of workers could have serious consequences for some of its member companies.

“Particularly in small businesses with just over 100 employees, the departure of even one respected team member can lead to operational problems if not properly addressed or planned,” writes Robin Burstling, chief lobbyist for the manufacturing group. “For larger companies, even losing 1% of the production team can have operational implications given the specialized nature of the skilled production worker.”

An internal survey by the American Freight Forwarders Association estimates that carriers under this mandate will lose about 74% of their unvaccinated workforce, or 37% of their total workforce, due to retirement, layoffs, or moving employees to smaller companies. not covered by the mandate. … However, this survey suggests that the proportion of respondents who said they would quit smoking will do so when the time is right, the trade group said in a letter sent last Thursday to the Office of Management and Budget, which is reviewing the rule for whites. House.

Asked if drivers are already leaving the workforce, Jeremy Kirkpatrick, the association’s director of strategic communications, said it was too early to talk about it because the rule hadn’t been made public yet.

“We’re on standby right now,” Kirkpatrick wrote in an email to CNBC.

The Kaiser poll also shows that most unvaccinated workers would not quit right away if faced with a mandate. About six out of ten said they were likely to apply for religious, medical, or other exemption if their employer required them to get a vaccine.

“There are many options that people will try to exhaust before they quit their jobs,” said Lopez, an analyst at KFF.

Almost 58% of the US population is fully vaccinated, including almost 70% of the adult population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CNBC Spencer Kimball contributed to this report.

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