Apparently driven to desperation by the recession, more employees are stealing from the company cookie-jar, according to a recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), which found that 15% of employers have noted an increase in office crime spurred by the economic crisis.

In recent months, nearly a quarter (24%) of all company employers and one-third (31%) of officials from large companies saw an increase of theft of office supplies, company products, electronic equipment, food and other company-owned items. Most serious is the 18% of employers overall and 22% of large businesses that have noted an increase in employee-related monetary theft -- such as padding expense reports or disappearing cash.

Employers hope to offset internal criminal activity with employee communication, a strategy utilized by 28% of all study participants and by 38% of large business representatives. Twenty percent are conducting additional audits (25% in large companies), and 19% of companies overall are paying more attention to background checks for prospective new hires.
-- EBN Associate Editor Kathleen Koster

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