Millions of people in the U.S. are facing barriers to employment
There are more than 10 million open positions in the United States. At the same time, there are millions of people facing barriers to employment. One major group is people with criminal records - stunningly, 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. This oftentimes prevents them from getting a job, even when they are the best candidate for the position. Currently, the unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated individuals is 27%.
In addition, People of Color are more likely to be arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced for crimes. Therefore, they disproportionately face barriers to employment.
Addressing labor shortage and racial inequality
Employers are struggling to fill their open positions, and fair-chance hiring could be a near- and long-term solution to this problem. Justice-involved people are proven to be loyal and productive team members, which often results in higher retention and lower turnover.
Employment enables people with a criminal record to build a stable life not only for themselves, but also for their families. Having stable employment also has a direct correlation to lower rates of recidivism, as people who have successfully reentered society are less likely to commit crimes again.
Read more about some great examples of how to implement fair-chance hiring policies that can help your company build a more fair, equitable, and inclusive country post-pandemic: