Theft is one of the leading reasons why businesses and companies need extra security in the workplace.

Customers are not the only potential perpetrator who can commit illegal and unethical behavior like stealing.

Some perpetrators work as employees, managers, or even executives in the company.

More than 30% of bankruptcies in businesses are due to theft, particularly employee theft.

Do you want to know more about employee theft statistics?

Key Employee Theft Statistics

  • More than one in five small business owners suffer from employee theft.
  • Businesses in the United States lose approximately $50 billion per year because of employee theft.
  • 75% of company employees admit they have stolen from their employer or management.
  • 86% of theft cases in a company involve asset misappropriation, resulting in a median loss of $100 thousand per case.
  • In 2022, occupational fraud cases in the US and Canada reached 675.
  • More than 44% of retailers experienced an increase in employee theft since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
  • One-third of employees involved in theft cases are from Accounting, Finance, or Management.
  • Three in four employees were terminated as a punishment for theft.

Top Employee Theft Statistics in 2023

Employee Theft

1. 22% of Small Businesses Suffer from Employee Theft

Employee theft can affect all sizes of businesses, from small to large. Every business and company can experience this.

According to a survey, more than one in five small business owners suffer from employee theft.

About 22% of small businesses are experiencing theft from their employees.

42% caught them personally, while 35% caught them on camera.

What do most small business employees steal?

  • Money
  • Food and drink
  • Clothing
  • Time
  • Office Supplies
  • Electronics

(Business.org)

2. Employee Theft Costs $50 Billion Per Year to US Businesses

Statistics reveal that companies and businesses lose millions to billions due to internal frauds committed by their employees regularly.

Employee theft costs US businesses $50 Billion yearly.

This involves cash, private and sensitive data, assets, and time.

(CNBC and Statistic Brain)

3. 75% of Company Employees Have Experienced Stealing at Least Once from Their Employer

A recent survey shows that three in every four employees admit they have stolen from their employer or management at least once. This is equivalent to 75%.

Over the last two decades, 79% experienced the same. This means that it decreased by about 4%.

Even though this figure decreased, it is still highly alarming that many employees are involved in theft cases.

(Zippia)

4. 86% of Theft Cases in a Company are Asset Misappropriation 

There are different ways in which theft happens. Asset misappropriation is a common but least costly type of employee theft.

This act involves misusing or stealing the company’s resources and inventory. 86% of theft cases in a company involve asset misappropriation.

This results in a median loss of $100 thousand per case.

Half of the theft cases involve corruption, including illegal gratuities and invoice kickbacks.

(Association of Certified Fraud Examiners)

5. There Were 675 Occupational Fraud Cases Reported in the US and Canada in 2022

Occupational fraud cases in the US and Canada reached 675 in 2022 based on the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, wherein 625 cases were in the US and 50 cases in Canada.

Compared to occupational fraud cases in other regions, US and Canada had the highest number of cases. It had 36% of all reported cases.

Sub-Saharan Africa comes next with 429 cases, equivalent to 23%, and Asia-Pacific with 194, equivalent to 10%.

(Association of Certified Fraud Examiners)

6. 44.4% of Retailers Experienced an Increase in Employee Theft Since the Pandemic Began

The COVID-19 pandemic increases theft risks to retailers. 44.4% of retailers experienced an increase in employee theft since 2020.

33.3% of retailers noticed a slight increase in employee theft since the pandemic began, while 11.1% noticed a significant increase.

(National Retail Federation)

7. 37% of Fraud is Executed by Company Employees

Perpetrators of fraud can be external, internal, or collusion of both. Customers are not only the potential theft, employees too.

According to the 2020 PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey, 37% of fraud is made by internal perpetrators or insiders. 

Frauds made by insiders can be more damaging than frauds from external.

Internal perpetrators are behind 43% of reported fraud cases with more or less $100 million in losses.

(PWC.com)

8. How Employees Conceal Theft

Employees who commit theft believe they can conceal their unethical behavior.

Almost 90% of employee theft includes attempts to conceal them.

Here are some of the ways how employees conceal theft:

  • 39% have created fraudulent physical documents
  • 32% have altered physical documents
  • 28% have created fraudulent electronic documents or files
  • 25% have altered electronic documents or files
  • 23% have destroyed or withheld physical documents

(Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and Fit Small Business)

9. One-Third of Employees involved in Company Theft Cases are from Accounting, Finance, or Management

One-third of employees involved in company theft cases are from Accounting, Finance, or Management.

Financial fraud involves employees from these departments misusing company funds.

This can be payment tampering, billing fraud, payroll fraud, and cash.

(Embroker)

10. 76% of Employees Are Terminated as a Punishment for Theft

Employee theft is illegal. Employers are unhappy to know about their employees’ unethical practices like theft.

Some employers punish their employees for committing theft by charging the amount of losses or more, while others are terminated.

80% of fraud or theft perpetrators received punishment in response to illegal acts.

Of this figure, 76% of employees were terminated compared to 45% of executives and 66% of managers.

(Zippia)

11. Insurance is one of the Industries with the Least Employee Theft

Employee Theft

Insurance is one of the top industries with the least employee theft, reporting 85 cases with a median loss of $70,000.

Education follows, reporting 101 cases with a median loss of $65,000. 

While the top industry with the most employee theft is Mining.

It reported a $475,000 median loss from 26 cases.

(Zippia)

Conclusion

Most companies and businesses focus on external sources of theft without considering the ones in the workplace.

Unfortunately, some employees are stealing while working.

Based on Zippia’s data, 50% of reported fraud are internal employees, and only 22% are customers.

43% of company theft are detected from internal tips.

Those are some of the employee theft statistics and other interesting facts about unethical behavior in a company.

Sources

EmbrokerBusinessCNBC
Acfe PublicNRFPWC
EmbrokerZippiaFit Small Business
Exploding TopicsTechJury