Does Unemployment Show Up on Background Checks for Employment?

Unemployment benefits help workers support themselves after losing a job through no fault of their own so that they have money coming in while they line up a new job. However, some workers worry that if they take unemployment benefits, their next employer will find out and refuse to hire them because of it. Unemployment benefits do not show up on credit checks or other background checks, although your new employer may be able to deduce that you received unemployment if he knows what to look for.


Unlisted Wage Sources

Credit checks do not list the sources from which you get income; they only list your total income. So, for example, if you got $700 from unemployment prior to finding a new job, the credit check will not list the $700 separately from your other income or tell your employer exactly where you got the $700 from. This policy lessens the likelihood that employers will choose not to hire you because they disapprove of where you got your income from.

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Employer List

Employers often study the entire credit report to determine whether you are financially stable. Although the report itself does not state that you received unemployment, it does list your present and former employers. Therefore, if you have had a number of jobs within a short period of time, such as five jobs within a year, your employer may feel you are not stable or may conclude that you have relied on unemployment between jobs.


Check Your Credit

Prior to applying for jobs, order a copy of your credit report from each of the three bureaus and check the report for mistakes. If there are jobs listed that do not belong to you, contact the credit bureaus and have the information removed so that your new employer does not mistakenly think you change jobs all the time. You can order a free copy of your credit report once a year from each bureau, and you are also entitled to a free credit report any time that you are denied credit.



Be Honest

Honesty goes a long way with many employers. If your job application asks you about periods of unemployment, list them and explain the circumstances. If you try to keep your periods of unemployment secret, it looks worse when your employer sees your job history, as it appears you have been trying to hide something. You are not obligated to tell your employer if you have received unemployment benefits.



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