Study Finds Tattoos are No Longer a Barrier to Job Hiring


Good news for the hoards of metalheads with artwork tattooed all over their bodies: a new study has concluded that people with visible tattoos are no longer considered to be at a disadvantage when seeking jobs.

The study, which was conducted by academic researchers Michael T French, Karoline Mortensen and Andrew R Timming and has been published in Sage Journals, sought to investigate the commonly held belief that people with visible tattoos are perceived by hiring managers to be less desirable job candidates. In some cases those with tattoos were even more likely to gain employment, which the authors admit in the study’s summary was an unexpected outcome:

“Do job applicants and employees with tattoos suffer a penalty in the labor market because of their body art? Previous research has found that tattooed people are widely perceived by hiring managers to be less employable than people without tattoos. This is especially the case for those who have visible tattoos (particularly offensive ones) that are difficult to conceal. Given this backdrop, our research surprisingly found no empirical evidence of employment, wage or earnings discrimination against people with various types of tattoos. In our sample, and considering a variety of alternative estimation techniques, not only are the wages and annual earnings of tattooed employees in the United States statistically indistinguishable from the wages and annual earnings of employees without tattoos, but tattooed individuals are also just as likely, and in some instances even more likely, to gain employment. These results suggest that, contrary to popular opinion as well as research findings with hiring managers and customers, having a tattoo does not appear to be associated with disadvantage or discrimination in the labor market.”

The study covered more than 2,000 people across all 50 U.S. states and accounted for plenty of variables such as type and location of their tattoos, age, gender, wages, lifestyle, urban vs. rural jobs and more.

A 2006 study showed that over 80% of hiring managers felt negatively about tattoos, but the new study indicates that line of thinking has become outdated. Part of that could be due to how commonplace tattoos have become: 38% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 surveyed in the study said they have at least one tattoo. Twenty-three percent of men across all age groups said they had at least one tattoo, while 37% of women did.

You can read more here and view the entire study here.

[via Loudwire and Bustle]

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