Precarious Work Schedules among Early-Career Employees in the US: A National Snapshot

Source: Susan J. Lambert, Peter J. Fugiel, Julia R. Henly, University of Chicago, August 2014

This research brief presents an overview of work schedules among a representative sample of early-career adults (26 to 32 years old) in the United States. Based on an analysis of new items included in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), the brief describes the distribution of three dimensions of work schedules—advance schedule notice, fluctuating work hours, and schedule control—across early-career workers in hourly and non-hourly jobs, overall and separated by gender, regular work hours (full-time/part-time), race, and occupation. In addition, the brief gives special consideration to selected groups of hourly workers, including parents, women, workers of color, and workers in low-pay, high-growth occupations, who are at particular risk of precarious work schedules and economic insecurity. Finally, the brief suggests some implications of these descriptive findings for public policy and future research.