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offenders and welfare recipients are determined by supply as well as demand. And, surely,

welfare reform as well as a strong economy pushed many welfare recipients into the labor

market by the time our survey was administered. Nonetheless, Figure 2 indicate that employers’

stated willingness to hire ex-offenders correlates with their actual behavior. Those employers

that indicated a willingness to hire ex-offenders were much more likely to have hired ex-

offenders over the past year than those employers that were either unwilling or indicated that it

depends on the crime.

Figure 3 explores the employer responses to the question about their general willingness

to hire ex-offenders currently if they were approached by an intermediary agency trying to place

such young men. We find that about 10 percent of employers state that currently they are willing

to hire at least one ex-offender.10 Again, our survey also asks this same question of welfare

recipients, and 30 percent of employers indicate that they are willing currently to fill positions

with this group. Since the wording of this question effectively holds supply constant, the

observed ordering of employer responses confirms their aversion to ex-offenders.

We also examine the responses to this question stratified by employer responses to the

question concerning willingness to consider ex-offenders (for the last noncollege job). We do

not believe that employers who are unwilling to hire an ex-offender applicant for the last filled

job are unwilling to hire ex-offenders more generally. Indeed, such employers may occasionally,

but perhaps rarely, be open to hiring them more generally. Here, as with the measure of actual

10We should note that the measure of employers hiring of ex-offenders over the last year is not directly comparable to that for their willingness to hire ex-offenders currently. As described above, these means of these measures in our sample are .20 and .10, respectively. The actual demand measure over the past year reflect flows of ex-offenders to employers, while the current demand measure reflects a stock of new demand for ex-offenders at a point in time. We do ask employers their prospective demand for ex-offenders over the next year, which also represent a comparable flow of offenders to our actual demand measure, and our data indicate that about 26 percent of employers say that they are willing to hire at least one ex-offender over the next coming year. However, we focus on the prospective demand measure for hiring ex-offenders currently rather than over the next year since it is based


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