Drug Testing on the Job Loses Popularity, Tight Labor Market Cited 8/11/00

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According to a study released last week by the American Management Association (AMA), job-based drug testing, along with other employment tests such as medical and psychological exams, is losing popularity among employers.

The AMA polled more than 2000 firms, and found that companies requiring drug testing declined from 62% of those surveyed in 1997 to 47% this year. The number of firms requiring psychological tests dropped from 52% in 1998 to 33% this year.

These numbers represent a sharp reversal from the early 1990s.

The AMA largely attributes the declines to the booming economy. "Companies are adjusting to a tight labor market," AMA spokesman Eric Greenberg told USA Today.

"If you've got an absolutely critical position you need filled and the person shows up dirty on a test for marijuana, you may regret you ever asked. You're dealing with a situation where you don't have the luxury to pick and choose."

Barry Lawrence of CareerBuilders, an online job hunting site, told USA Today, "If you're driving people away, that's tricky in this job market. In a job market where you're doing everything to bring people in, it's a quagmire for employers."

Employers also see declining returns from drug testing programs. The number of employees testing positive for drug use has dropped to the lowest level since 1989, according to Quest Diagnostics, a New Jersey testing provider cited by USA Today. Quest performs 10 million drug tests per year.

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Issue #149, 8/11/00 Marijuana Spraying Kills One, Sickens Hundreds, Mexican Villagers Report | Ecstasy Panic Spreads, Draconian New Laws Claim First Victims | Interview with DanceSafe's Emanuel Sferios | New Mexico Courts Face Consequences of Asset Forfeiture Double Jeopardy Ruling | California Medical Marijuana Fight Continues | Trial for Former Gubernatorial Candidate to Resume Next Week | How Many Drug Offenders Behind Bars: New York Times Distorts the Numbers | Drug Testing on the Job Loses Popularity, Tight Labor Market Cited | Job Listing: Pennsylvania Coalition to Save Lives Now | AlertS: Colombia, Mandatory Minimums, California, New York | HEA Campaign | Event Calendar | Editorial: America Needs Its Drug Users
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