Tattoos Won’t Keep You From Getting a Job, Research Suggests

Don't be so quick to cover up the ankle tattoo.

Image by Classen Rafael / EyeEm/ Getty Images

By Monica Torres

Roll up your sleeves, the taboo of showing your tattoos in the office may finally be changing. Researchers from the University of Miami and the University of Western Australia surveyed 2,000 American adults from all 50 states and found that having a tattoo was not significantly associated with employment or earnings discrimination. Job seekers with inked skin were just as likely, and in some cases, more likely to gain employment than job seekers without tattoos.

“Not only did we find no net effect of tattoos on earnings, but some evidence emerged of a slight, yet positive, effect of tattoos on labor supply and, for men at least, on employment status,” the study concluded.

Tattoos have no significant effect on wages or getting the job:

This is good news for the 70% of Millennials who say they hide their tattoos beneath clothing.

“The long-held stigmas associated with having tattoos, and particularly visible ones, may be eroding, especially among younger individuals who view body art as a natural and common form of personal expression,” Michael French, one of the authors of the study, said in a statement.

Maybe more employers are recognizing that the majority of good candidates are bound to have an inked tattoo somewhere on their body. There is strength in numbers. Twenty percent of American adults and 40% of Millennials now has a tattoo. With so many inked brethren in the office, more of us feel free to bring our whole selves to work and let our inked art peek through our suits and blouses without consequence.

“Supervisors who discriminate against tattooed workers will likely find themselves at a competitive disadvantage for the most qualified employees,” French said.

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