Jun 14, 2022 - Economy

Workers with criminal records are getting a chance

Data: Indeed; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Indeed; Chart: Axios Visuals

More employers are proactively saying that they'll give candidates with criminal backgrounds or arrest records a "fair chance," the common phrase for such a practice.

Why it matters: All the stock market angst isn't yet seeping into the job market where most employers (with the possible exception of tech companies) are still desperate to hire.

  • That means more workers who are usually sidelined or, let's face it, openly discriminated against, are getting pulled into the workforce.

Driving the news: 2.5% of job listings on Indeed now advertise "fair chance" hiring, according to an analysis conducted by AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at the job site's Hiring Lab. That's up from just over 1% in early 2018 — though down a bit from a high of 3.1% in April.

  • "Fair chance" listings were defined by Indeed as those including that phrase, plus ones like "no background check" or "felon friendly."

Flashback: Back in March, Axios examined how the tight labor market had led some employers to loosen the way they do criminal background checks, something civil rights advocates have wanted for years.

  • Pulling in these workers also helps companies keep wages down.

The bottom line: "Employers are at least warming a bit to considering this group," Konkel tells Axios. "Especially as they are really trying to figure out different ways to attract the workers that they need."

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