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Home > Resources > Facts and Statistics that Support Employment Screening

Facts And Statistics That Support Background Checks

The following statistics highlight many of the reasons why comprehensive employment screening can help deter the risks of workplace violence, employee theft, high turnover, security risks and the overall costs associated with a bad hire.


Background Screening Facts and Statistics

More than 39 million Americans, or about 14 percent of the population, changed addresses during 2005-2006.

On average, today's consumer has a total of 13 credit obligations on record at a credit bureau.  These include credit cards (such as department store charge cards, gas cards, or bank cards) and installment loans (auto loans, mortgage loans, student loans, etc.) Of these 13 credit obligations, 9 are likely to be credit cards and 4 are likely to be installment loans.

Estimated resident unauthorized immigrant population on January 1, 2006 was 11,550,000 million.

Compares employee information against more than 425 million records in the SSA database and more than 60 million records stored in the DHS database.  Currently, 93 percent of an employer’s queries are instantly verified as work authorized.

In 2006, speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes, and 13,543 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes.

It is necessary for a motor carrier to generate an additional $1,250,000 of revenue to pay the cost of a $25,000 accident, assuming an average profit of 2%.  The amount of revenue required to pay for losses will vary with the profit margin.  

If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated 1 of every 15 persons (6.6%) will serve time in a prison during their lifetime.

Each day approximately 7, 000 new individual records are added to the CJIS files.

Everyone is on the move: On any given day, more than 87,000 flights are in the skies in the United States.  Only one-third are commercial carriers, like American, United or Southwest.  On an average day, air traffic controllers handle 28,537 commercial flights (major and regional airlines), 27,178 general aviation flights (private planes), 24,548 air taxi flights (planes for hire), 5,260 military flights and 2,148 air cargo flights (Federal Express, UPS, etc.).  At any given moment, roughly 5,000 planes are in the skies above the United States.

In 2005, there were 389,380 establishments with at least one incident of workplace violence.  Only 8.5 percent of all establishments had no workplace violence prevention program or policy.

Terrorism figures: There have been 25223 incidents, 88478 injuries and 44657 fatalities due to terrorism this decade.

On January 6, 2006, the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) established a new one-day processing record.  On that day, NCIC processed 5,623,838 National Wants and Warrants transactions.

The actual number of offenders that are publicly viewable in the official state registries is 485,670.

Over 16.6 million civil cases entered the state court system in 2005.  This was by no means a record and in fact represented nearly 500,000 fewer incoming cases than in 2003 and the second consecutive year of decline.  Adjusting for population, the resulting aggregate rate of just over 5,500 cases for every 100,000 residents of the United States is virtually identical to the rate in 1996.

The OIG made 71 referrals for consideration of suspension/debarment to the GSA Office of Acquisition Policy from March 2008 to September 2008.  GSA issued 47 suspension and debarment actions based on current and previous OIG referrals.

Employers averaged $2.23 or 7.9 percent of total compensation for legally required benefits for every hour worked in December 2007.  Legally required benefits -- which include Social Security, Medicare, federal and state unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation -- is only one of several benefit categories included in Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, along with wages and salaries.

According to the 2007 ADP Annual Screening Index, 41 percent of employment, education and/or credential reference checks revealed a difference of information between what the applicant provided and what the source reported.  

United States General Accounting Office reported in 2004 that 463 federal government employees had degrees from diploma mills and other unaccredited schools.

Nearly 40 percent of HR professionals report that over the last three years they have increased the amount of time spent on reference checking for potential employees, according to the 2005 Reference Checking Survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

According to the 2006 report from the Bureau of Labor statistics, over 70 percent of United States workplaces did not have a formal program or policy that addressed workplace violence.

The FBI maintains the largest biometric database in the world, containing the fingerprints and corresponding criminal history information for more than 55 million subjects in the Criminal Master File.

According to the 2005 United Nations’ Trends Report, there were an estimated 191 million migrants worldwide in 2005, up from 176 million in 2000.  

Global mobility has made international background screening a necessity.  The U.S. Department of State reported there were a total of 6,444,285 Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas Issued at Foreign Service Posts in 2007.

The 2007 European Crime and Safety Survey was the most comprehensive analysis of crime, security and safety ever conducted in the European Union.  The survey revealed that the worst crime hotspots in the EU were Ireland, the UK, Estonia, the Netherlands and Denmark.

NAPBS industry statistics indicate at least 1 in 4 international credentials are fraudulent.

Worldwide, an estimated 1.2 million people are killed in road crashes each year and as many as 50 million are injured.  Projections indicate that these figures will increase by about 65% over the next 20 years unless there is new commitment to prevention.

Increasing credit card debt is by no means limited to the United States.  Australians' outstanding credit card debt rose to $41 billion in October 2007, and a survey of Australians found 54 percent of the respondents used their plastic to pay for necessities between paychecks.  Canadians are even more crushed by credit card debt.  A recent survey found that 25 percent of the respondents had credit card debt between $10,000 and $40,000, and many of the respondents not only had no savings, but no budget set up for their income.


Drug Testing Facts and Statistics

Drug-using employees are two times more likely to request early dismissal or time off, three times more likely to have absences of eight days or more, three times more likely to be late for work, four times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident and five times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Of the 20.6 million adults classified with substance dependence or abuse, 12.7 million (61.5 percent) were employed full-time.  Furthermore, among the U.S. working age population (ages 18-64) diagnosed with a substance use disorder, 62.7 percent were employed full-time.  

The 2007 Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index shows that positive methamphetamine tests have decreased:  it also indicates that the use of amphetamine in the general workforce has increased slightly, by about five percent.  

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reported a total of 5080 methamphetamine lab seizures in 2007- a daily average of 14.

About 30 percent of Americans report having some form of alcohol use disorder at some point in their lifetimes, including 17.8 percent with alcohol abuse and 12.5 percent with alcohol dependence, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

An estimated 3.1 percent of employed adults actually used illicit drugs before reporting to work or during work hours at least once in the past year, with about 2.9 percent working while under the influence of an illicit drug.

According to the 2007 United Nations Drug Report, an estimated 158.8 million people had consumed marijuana within the last 12 months.


Occupational Healthcare Facts and Statistics

The 2006 rate of occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work was 128 per 10,000 workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department Labor.  There were 1.2 million cases requiring days away from work in private industry, which represented a decrease of 51,180 cases (or 4 percent).  Median days away from work—a key measure of the severity of the injury or illness—was 7 days in 2006, the same as the prior two years.

About one in twelve workers exposed to high levels of noise in the workplace will develop hearing loss.  Although hearing loss due to noise cannot be treated or cured, it can be prevented.

The CDC reports a dramatic rise in the number of U.S. hospitalizations of kidney disease.  The annual number of those hospitalizations quadrupled from 1980 to 2005, according to the CDC.  That figure rose from about 416,000 hospitalizations in 1980 to 1.6 million in 2005, for a total of about 10 million hospitalizations from 1980 to 2005.

Occupational lung disease is the number one cause of work-related illness in the United States in terms of frequency, severity and preventability.

In 2007, a total of 13,293 tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported in the United States; the TB rate declined 4.2% from 2006 to 4.4 cases per 100,000 people.  The TB incidence rate in 2007 was the lowest recorded since national reporting began in 1953.  Despite this overall improvement, progress has slowed in recent years; the average annual percentage decline in the TB rate slowed from 7.3% per year during 1993--2000 to 3.8% during 2000--2007.* Foreign-born persons and racial/ethnic minorities continued to bear a disproportionate burden of TB disease in the United States.  In 2007, the TB rate in foreign-born persons in the United States was 9.7 times higher than in U.S.-born persons.

Vision problems cost U.S. businesses an estimated $8 billion each year in lost productivity, a new 2007 report finds.

Only 36 percent of all health care workers are immunized against influenza each year.  Transmission of influenza from health care workers to patients has been documented in nearly every health care setting, and multiple studies show that 70 percent or more of health care workers continue to work despite being ill with influenza, increasing exposure of patients and co-workers.

Coronary heart disease is the No.  1 cause of death in the United States.  Stroke is the No.  3 cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious disability.

Every year in the United States, on average: 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications and about 36,000 people die from flu.

In 2006, the most recent year for which government statistics are available, an estimated 60,000 workers died due to occupational disease.

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