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Occupational Composition and Racial/Ethnic Inequality in Varying Work Hours in the Great Recession

Race, Identity and Work

ISBN: 978-1-78769-502-3, eISBN: 978-1-78769-501-6

Publication date: 7 November 2018


A varying number of work hours from week to week creates considerable hardships for workers and their families, like volatile earnings and work–family conflict. Yet little empirical work has focused on racial/ethnic differences in varying work hours, which may have increased substantially in the Great Recession of the late 2000s. We extend literatures on racial/ethnic stratification in recessions and occupational segregation to this topic. Analyses of the Survey of Income and Program Participation show varying weekly hours became significantly more common for White and Black, but especially Latino workers in the late 2000s. The growth of varying weekly hours among White and Latino workers was greatest in predominantly minority occupations. However, the growth among Black workers was greatest in predominantly White occupations. The chapter discusses implications for disparities in varying hours and the salience of occupational composition beyond earnings.



Finnigan, R. and Hunter, S. (2018), "Occupational Composition and Racial/Ethnic Inequality in Varying Work Hours in the Great Recession", Race, Identity and Work (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 32), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 165-193.



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