In general, shoplifting signals that the economy is rough. This makes sense! However, when the shoplifters in question are employees of the stores they are stealing from, it means the economy is actually in excellent condition! Why? Because when the economy is bad, people don’t want to steal from their employers. They’re grateful to have jobs and don’t want to lose them.
However, when the economy is good, they’re down for a little risk. In this case, risk = stealing stuff. Also, as companies slowly recover with reduced work forces, employees can feel overworked and underappreciated. And what better way to stick up to The Man than by stealing stuff!
Of course, the amount of money involved is no laughing matter. Shoplifting cost retailers $37 billion last year alone — a $3.5 billion increase from the year before. The majority of that was due to employee theft; the second biggest offenders were sticky-fingered customers.