Free Press Journal

Inconsistent work hours affect employees’ personal life: study


New York: Nearly 40 percent of low-wage employees in the US worked inconsistent hours after the Great Recession, say researchers, making it hard for them to plan for basic needs like paying rent or taking care of their kids, reports IANS.

“Since the Great Recession, so much of the conversation has been about unemployment completely,” said Ryan Finnigan, assistant professor of sociology from University of California-Davis.

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There’s another conversation that’s been much less prominent about the quality of jobs that are replacing the ones that have been lost, he added. For the study, Finnigan and PhD candidate Joanna Hale looked beyond the record unemployment of the 2007-09 Great Recession to examine job stability.

They found that even before the recession, workers who had inconsistent hours from week to week earned less and were more likely to live in poverty than workers with consistent hours.  With the onset of the recession, they fared even worse.

“Unpredictable work schedules and unstable hours create significant costs of time and money for millions of workers and their families,” Finnigan noted.

Unstable work schedules made it difficult to keep a long-term budget or to plan for time with family, child care and even the rest and relaxation that workers with regular hours can take for granted. To reduce their labour costs, some employers use “just-in-time” scheduling which uses a software that can determine the number of workers needed based on change in customer traffic down to the hour.

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“I think that’s something that’s working out very well for employers and not very well for employees but they have little recourse to find better arrangements,” Finnigan pointed out.

Low job satisfaction hurts your health in 40s

Washington: People with low job satisfaction in their late 20s and 30s may be at the risk of depression and sleeping problems in their 40s, a new study has warned, reports PTI.

While job satisfaction had some impact on physical health, its effect was particularly strong for mental health. The study also found that the direction of your job satisfaction – whether it is getting better or worse in your early career – has an influence on your later health.

“We found that there is a cumulative effect of job satisfaction on health that appears as early as your 40s,” said Jonathan Dirlam from Ohio State University in the US. “You do not have to be near the end of your career to see the health impact of job satisfaction, particularly on your mental health,” said Hui Zheng from Ohio State.