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November, 1986, Vol. 109, No. 11
Shift work and flexitime:
how prevalent are they?
Although the needs of society require a diversity of work schedules, most Americans have traditional morning to late-afternoon hours. The great majority of full-time wage and salary earners begin work between 7 and 9 in the morning. The proportion who work in the evening or at night, or who are on flexible schedules, is rather small. In contrast, almost half of all part-time employees work schedules other than regular day shifts, and nearly one-fifth have some type of flexible scheduling. The incidence of shift work and flexitime varies by sex, race, age, and other characteristics, but differences are more apparent by occupation and industry.
These patterns are revealed in newly available data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which asked questions on beginning and ending hours of work, shift work, and the availability of flexitime, to name a few. The information relates to people who were at work during the week of May 12-18, 1985, and was collected in a special supplement to the May 1985 CPS.1
This excerpt is from an article published in the November 1986 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 Statistics on wage and salary workers usually include self-employed workers whose businesses are incorporated because from a legal standpoint they are the paid employees of a corporation. However, they are excluded from the analysis here, as the primary interest in the scheduling of work lies in a universe of workers limited to those who work for someone else. To have a consistent universe throughout the article, data are limited to those who actually worked during the survey reference week, because some of the data were collected only for this group.
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