NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Screening Turnover and Security Violations

November 16, 2001

A new study examines what happened at San Francisco International Airport when it established recruitment, compensation, training and performance standards for all workers in security areas or engaged in security tasks in April 2000.

  • Starting pay for screeners rose from $5.91 an hour to $10 plus health benefits.
  • Turnover fell from 95 percent to 19 percent.
  • Employers reported that morale, skills and performance improved, while absences and grievances fell.

The study by Professor Michael Reich of the University of California at Berkeley also found in looking at 10 airports that lower turnover was associated with a greater likelihood of detecting security breaches.

Source: Alan B. Krueger, "A small dose of common sense would help Congress break the gridlock over airport security," Economic Scene, New York Times, November 15, 2001.


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