hiring, we find that there is a strong relationship between the fraction of employers that indicate
that they are willing to fill positions currently with ex-offenders and their willingness to accept
applications from this group into the last filled noncollege job. The ordering of these responses
is as follows: those employers that are willing to accept are more likely to indicate that they are
willing to fill positions currently with ex-offenders followed by those who indicate that it
depends on the crime and then by those who state they are unwilling.
Figures 2 and 3 suggest that employer responses concerning their willingness to hire or
actual hiring of ex-offenders are consistent. This lends support to our earlier results, especially
of those that require prospective answers from employers (Holzer, et. al., Forthcoming). In
addition, employers who indicate “depends on the crime” to questions about their willingness to
accept applicants from ex-offenders seem to imply that their willingness to hire any individual
from this group is conditional on specific information about the ex-offender. This information
could include a host of factors such as how recently the offender was released from prison,
offense committed, as well as whether they have any work experience, to name a few.
Employer attitudes towards applicants with criminal histories, as well as their actual
hiring behavior, are likely to be associated with the establishment characteristics. Earlier work
demonstrates that industries with little customer contact, such as manufacturing, are more willing
to hire ex-offenders than others (Holzer et. al., Forthcoming). Table 1 displays averages of
establishment characteristics, stratified by the responses to the question concerning willingness
to consider ex-offenders applicants (in the last filled noncollege job) and actual hiring of them
over the past year. Establishment characteristics include industry, size, vacancy rates, the
on the employer’s current assessment of their labor needs rather than an expected demand over a future time period during which product demand, turnover, and other determinants of hiring are much more uncertain.