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Pre-Employment Drug Testing is Still Widespread

[DTN]  In January 2020 the U.S. added 225,000 jobs to the U.S. workforce, and unemployment upticked to 3.6 percent.  That’s because more workers are looking for jobs and people are looking to enter the workplace are counted among the monthly unemployment number. So more people are looking for jobs in 2020, and that must mean that more pre-employment drug screens will be conducted

         Or does it?

        A recent analysis by the American Addiction Centers of the job postings appearing on the jobs website, Glassdoor, reveals that far fewer employers are utilizing pre-employment drug screens these days. In general, the percentage of jobs requiring pre-employment drug tests has dipped to lower than two percent in 2019.

So why does it feel in field like a pre-employment whiz quiz is still a beast to be wrestled with?

Because small percentage points can still add up to many millions of job tests. New York City, for instance, at a paltry .46 percent, has the lowest percentage of jobs in the country that require pre-employment drug scrutiny, but that paltry half-point still translates to over 1,000 employers in the Big Apple that will still come armed with a specimen cup when you walk through the door looking for a job.

         A lot depends on where you live. The percentage of jobs that require pre-employment drug tests in Portland is 2.4%, but in Arlington, Texas almost 7 percent of employers pre-screen for drugs.

         On average, most of theses numbers float at around 1.5 percent (see chart), but the percentage of companies requiring pre-employment tests is less important as a practical matter than the size and population of the host community.

How Many Jobs Pre-Screen for Drugs?         

         The U.S. Government has the most jobs requiring pre-employment screens, and, accordingly, Washington, D.C. has the highest number of actual jobs to require a pre-hire screen. On the other end of that equation, Omaha, NE had absolutely no jobs listed on Glassdoor that announce pre-employment chemical surveillance.

While many companies include their pre-employment policies in their job listing, most do not. So even though more people are applying for jobs in 2020 and less companies on average require a pre-employment drug screen, it still take a little a due diligence to discover which ones will test. An anonymous phone call to a prospective employer might be the best move.

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