Criminal Records Could Be Having A Huge Impact On Labor-Force Participation


Criminal Records Could Be Having A Huge Impact On Labor-Force Participation

For years, we’ve seen a decline in the labor force participation rate (LFPR). That’s the number of people available for work as a percentage of the total population of working-age people. JP Morgan’s David Kelly has a post on the five reasons he thinks the LFPR is declining. “While some of this decline may be cyclical, we believe most of it is structural,” Kelly writes. “In particular, the aging of the baby boomers, a rise in the number of Americans receiving disability benefits, and an increase in criminal records and background checks all seem to have played a role in depressing the employment rate.”

If the LFPR really is being depressed by companies that won’t hire people with criminal records, that cuts a huge chunk of the population off from a lot of job options – they are more likely to get discouraged, and more likely to never return to the labor force if they are unemployed.

Just how many people does it affect?

Based on recent Justice Department data the number of people with some sort of criminal record that may be impacted is now likely above 70 million when filtered for a number of factors. That count includes people with all types of criminal records, from violent felonies to minor charges. In some cases, even people who were arrested but never convicted still have a criminal record.


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Posted Under: EBI

Post By Barry Nixon (262 Posts)

W. Barry Nixon is the COO, the leading background screening information portal and online worldwide directory of professional background screening firms and Suppliers to the background screening industry. He co-authored the landmark book, Background Screening & Investigations: Managing Hiring Risk from the HR and Security Perspective. He also is the publisher of award winning newsletters, The Background Buzz and The Global Background Screener, and the author of the Background Checks column in PI Magazine.

In addition, Barry is a past recipient of the elite ‘Top 25 Influential People in Security’ by Security Magazine and past Co-Chair, International Committee for the National Association for Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). He currently serves as a Global Ambassador for NAPBS.

You can contact Barry at 1-949-770-5264 or online at