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More Cuts, Terminations Expected As Upcoming Vaccine Mandate Creates Challenge For Job Market

CHICAGO (CBS) -- America is getting back to work with a promising jobs report showing more than 530,000 jobs added last month, but the upcoming federal vaccine mandate in January can become another obstacle as some refuse to comply with the mandate.

CBS 2's Tara Molina spoke with a business looking to not just make pizza but higher workers.

Chance are you've seen "Help Wanted" signs posted in your neighborhood just like many businesses have them across the city today- small businesses trying to bring people back in.

And it's happening as, nationally, we're already seeing cuts due to vaccine mandate refusals.

Serving up award-winning pizza in West Town for 17 years, Pie Eyed Pizzeria is just one of the small Chicago businesses now hiring.

"We've had signs up for over a year I would say. We've had to start closing on Tuesday's just to give everybody a day off," said Evan Muellner, Pie Eyed Pizzeria.

With a promising jobs report, they're not alone. More than 500,000 jobs added last month -- many in leisure and hospitality, but as we see the job market come back in a major way.

"The fact that people are flowing into those jobs is a really good sign," said Andy Challenger.

We're also seeing cuts, directly related to vaccine mandates.

"we're not technically requiring it, but we have a staff that would personally want to do it for themselves," Muellner said.

Jobs expert Andy Challenger's firm releasing numbers on that as the new federal guidance and deadline for tens of millions of workers to get vaccinated was announced.

"As these mandates are rolling out, I'm hearing from company after company that it's creating a lot of internal turmoil," Challenger said.

He says since June, more than 6,800 workers have been cut or left their jobs because of vaccine mandates.

Last month, they tracked, nationally 22 percent of people that lost their jobs refused a company's vaccine mandate.

"A lot of those coming from hospitals and healthcare, where they've already implemented a lot of the vaccine mandates," Challenger said.

The federal deadline applies to about two-thirds of the country's workforce and means businesses with at least 100 employees have until Jan. 4 to require workers to be fully vaccinated or face weekly testing.

"It may lead to more terminations than we expected," Challenger said.

With many of those vaccine-related cuts in healthcare, we checked in with our local hospitals and health systems for an update. Starting Friday, Lurie Children's said only a fraction of one percent of their workforce left due to their vaccine requirement. At Advocate Aurora Health, only 0.6 percent of our workforce, nearly half of whom were per diem, were not in compliance and have parted ways with the organization.

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