ONCE FALLEN JOB & WELFARE SURVEY 2016
Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com
A total of 307 registered citizens completed this online Job & Welfare Survey between October 2015 and February 2016. The intent of the survey was primarily to study the impact of sex offender laws on the employability of registered citizens with the secondary goal of obtaining accurate job and public assistance information to better advise registered persons on the kinds of jobs available to them. Below is a summary of the key findings of this survey:
- Demographics: The Registered Citizens [RCs for short] in this survey were less likely to be married than the general population [GP for short] (34.43% of RC vs 49% of gen), less likely to have kids (54.93 RCs vs 74% GP), more likely to have at least a two-year college degree (49.34% RCs vs 40% GP), and less likely to be a homeowner (33.11% RCs vs 63.2% GP).
- Unemployment: Registrants were far more likely to report unemployment than the general population (21.31% RCs vs 5.9% GP); registrants were far less likely to report being employed full-time than the general population (30.82% RCs vs 45.3% GP).
- Poverty: Registrants were far more likely to live in poverty compared to the general population (31.44% RCs vs 14.8% GP). Over half of registrants with jobs (52.42%) reported making less than $30,000 last year.
- Jobs: The top 5 job categories for registered citizens are, in order, Unskilled Manual Labor (Day labor, janitorial, basic labor), Skilled Labor/ Trades (plumbing, home repairs, mechanics, maintenance), Retail/ Sales jobs (realtors, cashiers, grocery clerks, telemarketing), Manufacturing (assembly fine, factory work, warehousing), and Restaurant Jobs (cook, server). The five worst job types for registered citizens in this survey were Communication jobs (cable, TV, phone techs), Scientific field (biotech, botany, zoology, etc), Security/ Loss Prevention (home/ business private security, quality control), Education/Teaching jobs, and Insurance.
- Workplace: Registrants are more likely to be “contingent” workers (self-employed or contract laborers) than the general population (42% RCs vs 30% GP)
- Job Discrimination: Registrants are more likely to lose their jobs than the general population (56.04% RCs vs 32% gen after 1 year; 83.52% RCs vs. 69% gen after 5 years); 82.51% of registrant job seekers report being denied work due to registry
status; 57.94% of registrants have lost a job directly as a result of registry status; and registrants are nearly twice as likely as the average American to experience workplace harassment (50.49% RCs vs 27% GP).
- Job Search: Registrants were roughly twice as likely to be long-term unemployed (unemployed for more than 6 months) than the general population (51.14% RCs vs 26.9% GP); while the average American finds employment in 2.5 months, only about a fourth of registrants (26.03%) found employment within three months.
- Public Assistance: Only 13.13% of registrants have remained fully self-sufficient or not accepting any form of assistance since being forced to register. Registered citizens are more likely than the general population to rely on food stamps (26.27% RCs vs 18% gen), SSI/ Disability (8.07% RCs vs 4.8% GP), and financial assistance from family and friends (28.89% RCs vs 12% GP).
- Homelessness: Registered citizens are almost twice as likely as the general population to have experienced homelessness (25.93% vs 14% GP); registered citizens are also far more likely than the general population to be currently homeless (3.38% RCs vs 0.18% GP).
- Anti-Registrants vs. non-activists: Respondents who identified themselves as members of various anti-registry groups (act) or considered themselves anti-registry activists were MORE likely than non-activists (non) to own their own homes (36.08% act vs 30.14% non), be classified as a “Tier 3” (23.08% act vs 16.78% non), have been on the registry for at least 10 years (46.4% act vs 39.73% non), and have experienced homelessness (30.97% act vs 20.86% non). Registrant activists were LESS likely than non-activists to live in a rural area (25.32% act vs 31.74% non), to be unemployed (39.88% act vs 45.2% non), or denied employment (85.52% act vs 91.11% non).
- Adam Walsh Act (AWA) states: Registrants living in AWA-compliant states were MORE likely than those living in non-AWA states to report being currently homeless (4.05% AWA vs 2.6% non), being unemployed (47.97% AWA vs 36.36% non), being denied a job (61.86% AWA vs 54.61% non), being harassed at work (53.57% AWA vs 47.66% non), and being forced to rely on public assistance (57.43% AWA vs. 50% non). Registrants living in AWA-compliant states were LESS likely than non-AWA states to have been on the registry 10 years or more (39.19% AWA vs 46.75% non), experienced homelessness (21.52% AWA vs 29.22% non), or consider themselves anti-registry activists (48.3% AWA vs 55.84 non). Registrants in AWA-compliant states are more likely to experience numerous residence and employment hardships but are less likely to speak out against these hardships.
- States listing employment info publicly: Registrants living in states that post at least some degree of employer information on the public registry are MORE likely than registrants living in states that do not list any employer information publicly to live in rural areas (39.02% do vs 20.9% don’t) and be unemployed (52.85% do vs 34.69% don’t). Registrants living in states that post at least some degree of employer information on the public registry are LESS likely than registrants living in states that do not list any employer information publicly to be employed full-time (26.83% do vs 35.75% don’t) and experience homelessness (22.31 do vs 27.68% don’t). Listing employer information has a significant impact on employment rates and “good job” rates of registered citizens.
- Rural versus urban living: Registrants living in rural areas or towns with a population under 10,000 (rural) are MORE likely than registrants living in urban areas/ cities with more than 10,000 residents (urban) to own their own home (41.48% rural vs 29.95% urban), be classified as a Tier 3/ “High Risk” (25.3% rural vs 18.14% urban), be unemployed/ retired/ disabled/ not in the labor force (50.59% rural vs 38.7% urban), have been denied employment (93.67% rural versus 85.71% of urban), lost a job (61.64% rural vs 56.5% urban), and have relied on public assistance (60% rural vs 50.69% urban). Registrants living in rural areas or towns with a population under 10,000 are LESS likely than registrants living in urban areas/ cities with more than 10,000 residents to identify as an anti-registry movement activist (47.06% rural vs 54.63% urban) or have been listed on the registry for over 10 years (37.65% rural vs 45.41% urban).
- Tier Levels: While there is surprisingly little parity between the Tiers (or for states with no tier system), those considered “High Risk” or Tier 3s were most likely to report being unemployed/ not in the labor force, living in a rural area, making over $50,000 last year, being denied a job, being on welfare at some point, and identifying as an anti-registrant activist, but least likely to report being homeless, having a full time job, living in poverty, and being harassed on the job.
This research paper confirms a number of beliefs that registered citizens suspected all along—registered citizens are more likely to suffer financial hardships through increased unemployment, job discrimination, and reliance on public assistance. This study also confirms that both the Adam Walsh Act and the practice of adding employment information to the public registry have adverse effects on the employability of registered citizens. The Adam Walsh Act had by far the most adverse effects on registrants, making registrants less financially independent and more likely to become welfare dependent and insecure in housing. Of significant importance is while Registered Citizens are less likely to land a “good” job, the possibility of upward mobility still exists (albeit at a far lower level than the average citizen). However, the types of jobs most registered citizens have been able to achieve are typically associated with low wages, high stress, and lack of upward mobility. Registrants tend to endure a fair amount of job insecurity and the time it takes for a registered citizen to acquire a job greatly exceeds the time it takes for the average American to find gainful employment.
Click the link at the top of the page to download the full report.
Top 10 Job Types for Registered Citizens
These are the top 10 job types for registered citizens, according to the survey:
- Unskilled Manual Labor (Day labor, janitorial, basic labor), 88 (18.03%)
- Skilled Labor/ Trades (plumbing, home repairs, mechanics, maintenance), 70 (14.34%)
- Retail/ Sales jobs (realtors, cashiers, grocery clerks, telemarketing), 50 (10.25%)
- Manufacturing (assembly fine, factory work, warehousing), 50 (10.25%)
- Restaurant Jobs (cook, server), 40 (8.2%)
- Internet and Tech jobs (IT, computer repairs, web design), 32 (6.56%)
- Construction, 30 (6.15%)
- Customer Service (call/ help centers, store agents), 24 (4.92%)
- Administration/ Clerical/ Office Jobs, 21 (4.3%)
- Transportation jobs (bus driver, deliveries, truck drivers), 19 (3.89%)
The categories in this survey least represented by registered citizens are as follows:
- Communication jobs (cable, TV, phone techs), 3 (0.61%)
- Scientific field (biotech, botany, zoology, etc), 2 (0.41%)
- Security/ Loss Prevention (home/ business private security, quality control), 2 (0.41%)
- Education/ Teaching jobs, 1 (0.2%)
- Insurance, 0 (0%)
The bad news for registered citizens looking for employment is that a fair amount of the top 10 jobs for registered citizens, according to the survey, or the types of jobs that are generally associated with low pay, lack of upward mobility, and high stress. However, being a registered citizen does not necessarily preclude you from getting a decent job.
What this survey means for registered citizens looking for a job
The information obtained from the survey is useful in many ways for advising registered citizens during the job search. First and foremost, this survey pointed out the types of jobs that registered citizens were most likely to obtain. Second, the results of this survey found that registered citizens were more likely to become “contingent workers” (i.e., self-employed, seasonal, or migrant workers) or work for a small business and less likely to work for a corporation or franchise. This means that a registered citizen has a higher employment success rate if he goes into business for himself or works in a locally owned business then if he tries to get a job at Walmart or McDonald’s. (I know from personal experience that Target stores will not hire registered citizens, per corporate policy; they even send letters to prospective employees about this policy.) If you are looking into self-employment, please note that registered citizens are also banned from obtaining small business loans from the federal government as a result of the Small Business Act of 2010.
It should come as no surprise that if you are a registered citizen, you can expect to remain unemployed for longer periods of time and possibly contact more prospective employers before obtaining gainful employment than the average American. Sadly, you can also expect a higher probability of facing job discrimination or on-the-job harassment than the average American. You are also more likely to lose your job than the average American. Registered citizens are also less likely to have a full-time job than the average American.
The survey also suggests that individuals living in an urban environment are more likely to find a job. If you live in a state that has adopted the federal Adam Walsh Act, live in a state that lists employer information publicly, or if you live in a state with a tier system you have been placed on the higher tiers, then you will have far more difficulty in obtaining employment than registered citizens that do not fall into these categories. Nothing in this research suggests that joining the ranks of registered citizen activist groups have any impact on your prospects of finding a job or a place to live.
[NOTE: This was not discussed in my job survey, but it is important to note that Registrants should use discretion when choosing a job. If you choose a job where children may be potential customers, even if you are not working the job yourself, it may cause public outrage:
- In 2011, a down-on-his-luck registrant bought an ice cream truck was threatened and bullied into selling his truck to a group of vigilante thugs called “No Peace For predators” [Jones, Rich. “Sex predator pressured to sell ice cream truck.” WOKV News 104.5, Cox media Group. 12 Apr. 2011. Web. <http://www.wokv.com/news/news/local/sex-predators-pressured-sell-
- In 2016, a registrant opened a snow cone stand, and despite not working the stand, residents remain outraged. [Kwon, Esther. “Residents concerned as sex offender opens business.” Fox Illinois 55/27. WRSP. 21 June 2016. Web. <http://foxillinois.com/news/local/residents-concerned-as-sex-offender-opens-business>]
With this survey means for registered citizens unable to find work
The good news is registered citizens are able to obtain most forms of public assistance, with the most obvious exception being section 8 federal housing. Registered citizens are more likely than the average American to suffer homelessness and to become reliant on public assistance. According to the survey, about one in 10 registered citizens collect some form of Social Security, while one in four collect food stamps. There are also many other forms of public assistance, including food, clothing, rental, and utility assistance from nongovernmental public charities. A little over one in four registrants rely on family or friends for assistance as well.
What this survey means for family members of registered citizens
If you are a loved one of a registered citizen, your family is adversely impacted by the registry. Chances are, you are more likely to live in poverty, the forced to live separate from your loved one, and rely on public assistance than the average American. About one in three registrants are married, and half of the registrants responding to the survey have children.
If there were 850,000 registered citizens in this country (the December 2015 estimate by the NCMEC), and taking into account at least the third of registrants being married and half having at least one child, then at least 1.5 million Americans are negatively impacted by the sex offender registry.
What this survey means for society
Until now, few lawmakers have considered the potential negative impact of the sex offender registry on the employability and housing stability of registered citizens. This survey shows that registered citizens are more likely to be unemployed and thus reliant on government welfare programs for assistance. Using my conservative estimate, a minimum of 1.5 million Americans are directly negatively impacted by the sex offender registry. If roughly a fourth of the 850,000 registered citizens (not counting families) relies on food stamps, then the yearly cost estimate (based on the 2014 average of $125 per person according to KFF.org), then the registry costs the food stamp program $318.75 million. Since Food Stamp recipients generally qualify for Medicaid, using KFFF.org’s 2011 estimate of $5790 per person, then the costs of the registry to Medicaid is $1.23 BILLION dollars.
The federal Adam Walsh Act, publishing employer info on public registries, and classifying individuals as “predators” or in high tiers increases unemployment and welfare dependence.