Employers in Oregon are having trouble finding potential employees that can pass a drug test.
According to the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis’ quarterly forecast, the state has a 4% unemployment rate, the lowest since 1990. But many jobs remain unfilled specifically because applicants are unable to pass a drug test, the office said.
That employers continue to require applicants to pass drug tests is interesting considering the tight labor market and the legalization of recreational marijuana in West Coast states. As a result, applicants who use a legal substance (although still illegal on the federal level) are unable to get work, the Oregon paper Willamette Week reports.
Economists suggest that employers may still require drug tests because of insurance reasons, but they also think the report may point to a larger long-term issue.
“It is possible that these anecdotal reports reflect a broader increase in drug usage that would be both an economic and societal problem,” the report says.
Potential employees, even knowing that they could be denied a job for using marijuana, are still using the drug rather than abstaining and becoming eligible for more jobs.