Research published in September by Princeton University economist Alan Krueger found that the rise in painkiller prescriptions from 1999 to 2015 led to a 20 percent drop in men’s workforce participation and 25 percent decline in women’s participation, especially in Appalachia, the Rust Belt, coastal Washington, northwest Arkansas, and central Maryland.
As a result, "Some employers that typically screen drug users out through testing are starting to become less picky," DePillis reports. "Such tolerance is not an option for all employers. Jobs that involve working with children typically bar people with criminal records. . . . Construction companies, too, are less likely to take the risk of hiring someone who might come to work high and make a fatal mistake while on a ladder or using heavy equipment."
In its annual economic report, President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers wrote "curbing the opioid crisis is of critical importance for ensuring a stable or growing employment rate among prime-age workers."