Third of Potential Hires Refuses, Fails Drug Test

HARRISBURG, Pa. — One-third of all applicants are ineligible for good-paying jobs in Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector due to drug use or drug test avoidance, according to a new study commissioned by the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association and conducted by Tel Opinion Research.

The survey of 200 manufacturing business executives focused on their companies’ experience with drug testing and its impact on their workforce. The results indicate drug use by both potential and current workers is a legitimate concern facing the manufacturing sector in Pennsylvania.

The executives reported that 19% of job applicants either refused to take a drug test or did not show up for a drug test that was required as a condition of employment. The fact that almost one in five potential employees does not complete the required pre-employment drug test underscores the difficulty many employers face in finding reliable and dependable workers. When combined with the shortage of skilled workers, employers often report that finding qualified workers remains a struggle; this is just another reason that over 8,000 Pennsylvania manufacturing jobs remain unfilled, according to the study.

Additionally, the manufacturing business executives reported that 16% of potential employees who take a drug test fail to pass, thus making them ineligible for employment.

When combining the figures of 19% that refuse to take the test and the 16% that fail, a total just shy of one in three employees are unable to work because of this problem.

Finally, the survey indicated that 60% of the businesses polled did, in fact, use random drug screenings as a condition of employment. The number increased to 70% among companies with over 50 employees. This illustrates the desire of many businesses to maintain a responsible and drug-free workforce for the safety of all employees, the trade group says.