Over the last 15 years, 11 states have restricted employers' access to the credit reports of job applicants. We estimate that county-level job vacancies have fallen by 5.5 percent in occupations affected by these laws relative to exempt occupations in the same counties and national-level vacancies for the same occupations. Cross-sectional heterogeneity suggests that employers use credit reports as signals of a worker's ability to perform the job: vacancies fall more in counties with a large share of subprime residents, while they fall less for occupations with other commonly available signals. Vacancies fall most for occupations involving routine tasks, suggesting that credit reports contain information relevant for these types of jobs.
First version, May 18, 2020
E24: Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital
E65: Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
J23: Labor Demand
J63: Labor Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs