August 03, 2000
Workers in service occupations are more likely to work alternative shifts than are any other occupational group. In 1997, 37.1 percent of full-time wage and salary workers in service jobs had alternative shifts, more than twice the 16.8 percent among all full-time employees.
Among service workers, those in protective service occupations had the highest incidence of shift work—over half (55.1 percent) worked an alternative shift. Food service was the next highest at 42.0 percent followed by health service at 30.1 percent.
"Alternative shift" and "shift work" both refer to work schedules that do not conform to the regular daytime schedule, for which work hours typically fall between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Types of alternative shifts include evening shift, night shift, rotating shift, and employer-arranged irregular schedule.
These data are a product of the May 1997 supplement to the Current Population Survey. Learn more about shift work in "Flexible schedules and shift work: replacing the 9-to-5 workday?" by Thomas M. Beers, Monthly Labor Review, June 2000.