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23 Background Check Statistics in 2023

These background check statistics show that employers frequently request background checks on job prospects for employment screening. This is common practice with roles that require high security or trust.  

The incentive of background checks is to protect the safety and security of the organization’s workers. Here are some background check statistics that show the trends in this field: 

General Background Check Statistics

  • 27% of individuals say they have embellished their resumes or job applications. (Career Builder, 2017) 
  • The total number of assaults that resulted in injuries and illnesses in 2019 was 20,870, which increased from the 2017 total of 18,400. (National Safety Council, 2019) 
  • Last year, the FBI processed 39.7 million firearm background checks, a 40% increase over the previous year. (KGW, 2020) 
  • 95% of employers conducted employment background screening in 2018. (NAPBS Survey, 2018) 
  • Background checks generally include seven years of criminal and judicial records but can go back further depending on compliance laws and searches. (Goodhire, 2020) 
Pre-employment background checks Typically cover 7 years of criminal and court records but can go back further depending on compliance laws
Bankruptcy checks Bankruptcies can go back as far as 10 years
Credit history checks Employment credit checks go back 7 years, or 10 years depending on the candidate's expected salary and specific state laws
Criminal felonies Felonies may be reported indefinitely or restricted to 7 or 10 years, depending on the state
Criminal misdemeanors and minor infractions Misdemeanors may be reported indefinitely or restricted to 5, 7, or 10 years, depending on the state
Driving records check Driving records may go back between 3 to 10 years, depending on the state
Educational history It may be verified throughout their lifetime
Employment history It may be verified throughout their lifetime
Professional license verification It may be verified throughout their lifetime

Background Checks: Current Trends

  • A criminal record affects nearly 70 million people or roughly one out of three American adults. (CNN, 2021) 
  • 46% of reference and credential verifications indicated a discrepancy between the information given by applicants and what the screening revealed. (AccuSource) 
  • More than a third of driving record checks revealed one or more violations or convictions. (, 2021) 
  • Approximately 6% of criminal history background checks found a criminal record in the previous seven years (out of the 1.7 million checks performed). (, 2017) 
  • In 2018, how long are potential workers in the United States prepared to wait for a firm that has issued a job offer to complete its background check procedure before moving on to another opportunity? (Statista, 2018) 
Characteristic 18-34 years old 35-44 years old 45-54 years old Over 55 years old Total
1 week to less than 10 days 37% 43% 42% 41% 41%
10 days to less than 2 weeks 23% 25% 19% 21% 22%
2 weeks or more 21% 23% 19% 17% 20%
  • Ilinois, Kentucky, and Texas hold the position as the top three most diligent states with criminal background checks. (Statista, 2020) 
  • Nearly 21 million Americans have at least one addiction: 30% of those who use marijuana have a marijuana use disorder, 15 million have an alcohol use disorder, 5 million regularly use cocaine, and 0.3% of all Americans are heroin users. (Addictioncenter, 2021)  
  • Organizations with reported substance use and abuse have higher turnover and absence rates. (AspenRidgeRecoveryCenters, 2020) 
  • Workers with substance use disorders miss two more weeks of work annually than their peers. . ( 

Theft Statistics

  • 75% of employees have stolen from their company at least once. ( 
  • Employees account for 90% of all significant theft losses. (Willis North America 
  • Before stealing from their workplace, 40% of employees had experienced HR red flags. (SHRM, 2019) 
  • Businesses lose $50 billion each year as a result of employee theft. (CNBC, 2017) 
Employee Recognition Program Policy

Demographics of Employee Theft

  • Men conduct 72% of all occupational fraud. (ACFE, 2020) 
  • The median age of employees found guilty of committing occupational theft is 48. (Hiscox, 2017)

Employees in their twenties or thirties typically carry out insider assaults in finance or insurance. (Carnegie, 2018)  

Employee Theft in the Top Industries

  • Insider assaults are most common in the banking, insurance, and healthcare industries. (Carnegie, 2018) 
  • Finance and insurance organizations are most commonly victimized, followed by healthcare and information technology. (Carnegie, 2018) 
  • The perpetrators of 84% of events in healthcare are motivated by the desire for financial gain. (Carnegie, 2018) 


These background check statistics show a rising trend; because remote work is now more attainable than ever, some employers and recruiters are placing even greater emphasis on completing background checks and following up with employees’ references. By doing so, they are making sure that they can stay on top of the company’s safety. 

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— Written by the <br>Shortlister Editorial Team

— Written by the
Shortlister Editorial Team

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