Corporations and businesses lose millions every year due to employee theft. While it might not seem like a prime financial concern, it can cripple a company if it gets out of hand.
To understand this problem better, take a look at this list of employee theft statistics. We’ve collected the data that best highlights how harmful employment theft is for individual businesses and on a larger scale.
Here, you’ll learn about the costs of employee theft, embezzlement, insider data breaches, and much more. This article will illustrate how dangerous it can be to lose control over employees’ wrongdoings.
Staggering Workplace Theft Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- Over 90% of all businesses have dealt with employee theft
- Employee dishonesty costs US businesses $50 billion annually
- On average, embezzlers steal over $350,000
- Businesses generally recover almost 40% of embezzled funds
- Six out of ten dentists are victims of embezzlement.
- Time theft leads to companies losing around $400 billion a year
- On average, dishonest restaurant employees steal $1,900
Stats on Employee Theft Cases
1. Over 26,000 employees were apprehended for stealing in 2020.
(Jack L. Hayes International)
Employee theft statistics 2020 reveal a significant decrease in such incidents — 20.3% less than in 2019. In these cases, $32 million were recovered.
“Essential” retailers, however, report 2.7% more dishonest employees than the previous year.
2. 95% of all businesses suffer employee theft.
Almost every business in the US has reported employee theft cases. In over 50% of the instances, the loss was in office supplies or the use of company equipment for personal benefit.
3. Every year, US businesses lose $50 billion to employee dishonesty.
On a national level, the US suffers staggering losses because of employee dishonesty (stealing, being unproductive, etc.). Employee theft statistics show these losses aren’t distributed evenly. Research suggests that one in three business failures happens due to internal theft.
4. In the US and Canada, noncash assets made up 18% of all asset misappropriation cases in 2020.
The term “asset misappropriation” describes a wide range of activities — cash larceny, unauthorized expense reimbursements, skimming, and more.
Some of the most frequent schemes with the highest embezzlement incident rate in Canada and the US are corruption (33%), billing (26%), and expense reimbursements (19%).
5. Embezzlement costs a company $357,650 on average.
Embezzlement schemes can go undetected for a very long period while draining the organization’s funds. Employee theft statistics show that the average embezzler works for eight years for the company before getting caught.
6. 33% of embezzlement perpetrators work in accounting or finance.
(The Balance SMB)
Accounting fraud statistics show that one-third of embezzlement cases involve someone from this department or from finance as the perpetrator. Meanwhile, 85% of the cases involve someone at a manager level or higher.
7. 70% of embezzlement cases last longer than a year.
(The Balance SMB)
At the same time, employee embezzlement statistics show that around 30% of embezzlement cases last three years or longer.
8. On average, businesses recover 39% of embezzled funds.
(The Balance SMB)
According to the employee theft stats, businesses typically get back less than half of their stolen money by restitution, settlements, or insurance.
9. Church crime would account for over $80 billion by 2025.
Fraud occurs in all kinds of religious institutions, and almost anyone with influence can divert a part of the church’s funds to themselves.
Church embezzlement statistics show an increase in wrongdoings by 6% every year, and 80% of such cases go unreported to law authorities.
10. Three out of five dentists are victims of embezzlement.
According to the most recent dental embezzlement statistics, most practicing dentists will become victims of embezzlement at least once in their careers.
The average scheme lasts between two and five years and results in over $100,000 loss for the practice.
11. 79% of embezzlement incidents involve more than one person.
(The Balance SMB)
Embezzlement schemes are usually complex. The perpetrator often convinces others to cooperate to stay undetected, as shown by employee data on theft statistics.
12. Cash makes up 34.5% of all asset misappropriation in nonprofit organizations.
The top three kinds of fraud are asset misappropriation, financial statement fraud, and corruption. Of these, misappropriation with cash, such as skimming, larceny, and register disturbances, are by far the most common, nonprofit embezzlement statistics reveal.
Annually, nonprofit organizations lose a median of $168,000 to employee theft. Embezzlement and check fraud account for $158,000.
Costs of Internal Theft Statistics
In retail, shrink refers to inventory loss due to employee theft, shoplifting, damage, or inventory mismanagement.
The shrink mentioned in the statistic above resulted in $61.7 billion worth of costs for the industry. Furthermore, 70% reported a shrink rate of over 1%.
Retail employee theft statistics confirm that almost 50% of the increase was noticed in in-store-only sales. Comparatively, 26.1% was detected in online-only sales.
14. Time theft costs companies around $400 billion every year.
Time theft is a big issue well worth addressing. A business that doesn’t keep track of employee productivity can lose tremendous amounts of money.
According to employee time theft statistics, it affects 75% of the companies in the US and accounts for $400 billion in losses every year.
15. Walmart loses $1.5 billion to shoplifting and employee theft.
Walmart is the biggest retail chain in the US. The retailer loses around 1.4% of sales revenue to shrinkage, accounting for $1.5 billion per year.
Diving further into the Walmart employee theft statistics, 38% of the losses are due to shoplifting, 35% — employee theft, and administrative make up 27%.
16. The median loss caused by employee fraud in the banking industry is $110,000.
Statistics on bank employee theft point to a high median cost. For comparison, the median cost in retail is $50,000 and in education — $68,000. There are 366 fraud cases in the banking industry every year.
The communications and publishing sector has only 24 cases yearly but the highest median cost of $525,000.
Data on Employee Theft by Industry
17. 60% of data breaches happen because of insider threats.
Over half of cyber breaches originate from the inside. That means an employee either intentionally helps cybercriminals or makes a mistake they can exploit.
According to workplace theft statistics, the costs of insider threats add up to $8.76 million annually.
18. Occupational fraud accounts for $7 billion in losses worldwide annually.
According to the most recent employee theft research, there are approximately 2,690 cases of fraud around the world, with a median cost of $130,000.
19. The average dishonest restaurant employee steals $1,900.
Restaurant employee theft facts show that the most used fraud is refund for cash or POS fraud. It involves reporting a refund for a meal even though no customer asked for it and taking the money.
Dishonest restaurant employees can get away with stealing nearly $2000 before anyone notices.
20. There were 453 arrests for internal mail theft in the US postal service October 2020–September 2021.
The US Postal Office theft statistics show they conducted 1,472 investigations. Consequently, there were about 1,042 administrative actions against dishonest employees. On top of that, over $162,000 was returned to the Postal Service.
Worker theft is a silent yet deadly issue that can end many businesses. Sadly, it doesn’t get nearly enough time under the spotlight, allowing most perpetrators to get away with it.
The reasons people steal from their employer are numerous — insufficient salary and unpleasant work environment are among the prime ones. All the same, realizing how common the problem is in the first place is pivotal to addressing it.
While some industries are more affected, employee dishonesty is widespread, resulting in over $50 billion in losses yearly.
Therefore, businesses should heavily consider installing a security camera system in place to deter or identify the perpetrators.
People Also Ask
Employee theft is prevalent — 95% of all businesses have had workers stealing from them. These incidents result in $50 billion in losses every year.
Cash asset misappropriation is a widespread kind of employee theft. It comprises around 34.5% of all instances, while noncash makes up 21%.
Employee theft and shoplifting cause the vast majority of shrinkage overall.
The available data reveals that around two-thirds of inventory shrinkage happens because of employee theft. On the other hand, between 30% and 40% of shrink is due to shoplifting.
Employee theft usually causes the management and other employees to feel tense and don’t trust each other. It can slow down productivity and make it difficult for the staff to concentrate on their given tasks.
The psychology of employee theft tends to be contagious. Such instances can inspire more workers to join in or steal on their own. This trend tends to die off suddenly whenever management notices the theft or finds the culprit(s).
The difference between how much customers and employees steal varies from one industry to the next. In many instances, however, employees are the ones stealing more.
That applies to industries with common occurrences of shoplifting. For instance, employee theft statistics in retail highlight that workers are responsible for more inventory shrink than customers. More precisely, around 60% is attributable to employee theft, while 30-40% is due to shoplifting.