By Larry Stewart
After holding steady between 2017 and 2020, positive results for drug tests of construction workers increased more than 12% in 2021, according to the 2022 Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index (DTI).
The rate of positive drug test results among America's total workforce reached its highest rate last year since 2001 and was up more than 30% in the combined U.S. workforce from an all-time low in 2010-2012, according to analysis by Quest Diagnostics. In the context of widespread labor recruiting and retention challenges, 2021 drug positivity in the economy at large increased in post-accident tests at a faster rate than pre-employment tests for cocaine, marijuana, opiates and oxycodones.
The study, based on more than 11 million deidentified urine, hair and oral fluid drug test results collected between January and December 2021, offers revealing insights into w
The overall positivity rate in the combined U.S. workforce, based on nearly nine million urine drug tests, was up to 4.6% compared to 4.4% in 2020 and up 31.4% from the all-time low of 3.5% just 10 years ago. The combined U.S. workforce includes the general U.S. workforce of mostly company-policy testing by private employers as well as the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce, which includes federal employees and the transportation and nuclear power industries, and can include workers such as pilots, truck drivers, train conductors and others required to drug test under federal legislation.
Positives jump in federally mandated tests
Overall positivity in the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce based on nearly 2.7 million urine drug tests remained steady at 2.2% in 2020 and 2021, and was 4.8% higher than 2017. In the general U.S. workforce, positivity increased 1.8% (5.5% in 2020 versus 5.6% in 2021) and was 12% higher than in 2017 (5.0% in 2017 versus 5.6% in 2021) and up each of the last five years.
Continue reading on forconstructionpros.com.