By Kristen Harknett

Clock surrounded by water ripple effect

It’s About Time: How Work Schedule Instability Matters for Workers, Families, and Racial Inequality

Research Brief Press Release Many Americans are working, but poor. Along with low wages and few benefits, the working poor frequently find themselves up against erratic work schedules, with hours and shifts that change day-to-day and week-to-week with little advance notice. Particularly in the food-service and retail sectors, which employ 17% of American workers, such unstable and unpredictable work schedules are widespread.1 Now, newly available data from The Shift Project offers unprecedented insight into the prevalence of unstable work scheduling conditions and the consequences of this instability for workers and their children. Among 30,000 employees at 120 of the largest...

Consequences of Routine Work Schedule Instability for Worker Health and Wellbeing

Research Brief Press Release The American labor market is increasingly unequal, with ever greater returns at the top of the market and growing insecurity for workers at the bottom. Much has been written about the economic face of rising precarity for low-wage workers, but this transformation has also involved a shift in the temporal dimension of work. Frontline service sector jobs are characterized, not only by stagnant wages and few fringe benefits, but by a lack of employee control over scheduled work days and times in the context of substantial schedule instability.1 Many service sector employers across the country rely...
Boston map

Working in the Service Sector in Boston

Research Brief Press Release Service sector jobs in the United States are characterized by low pay, few fringe benefits, and limited employee control over scheduled work days and times.1 Many service sector employers across the country rely on just-in-time and on-call scheduling practices designed to minimize labor costs by closely aligning staffing with consumer demand.2 These practices can introduce significant instability into the lives of workers and their families.3 This research brief is part of a series designed to advance our understanding of working conditions in the service sector–in particular, schedule instability and unpredictability–in cities and states across the country....
Washington

Working in the Service Sector in Washington State

Research Brief Press Release Service sector jobs in the United States are characterized by low pay, few fringe benefits, and limited employee control over scheduled work days and times.1 Many service sector employers across the country rely on just-in-time and on-call scheduling practices designed to minimize labor costs by closely aligning staffing with consumer demand.2 These practices can introduce significant instability into the lives of workers and their families.3 This research brief is part of a series designed to advance our understanding of working conditions in the service sector – in particular, schedule instability and unpredictability – in cities and...