More than a third of hourly workers struggle to make ends meet
- More than a third of U.S. hourly workers (38%) who make $20 or less per hour say they're struggling to make ends meet, according to Snag's (formerly Snagajob) annual State of the Hourly Worker Report. These workers feel they're underemployed, which the report defines as employed hourly or relying on gig work as their primary source of income, but still needing more hours to make ends meet.
- Most underemployed workers (80%) are willing to work more than one job to earn a living wage, but 74% would prefer having one full-time, decent-paying job. In fact, the report found that 54% of underemployed workers are actively looking for a better-paying full-time job.
- Among other findings, the report says that nearly half of restaurant workers (47%), retail workers (41%) and hospitality workers (38%) consider themselves underemployed. The study points out that along with the need to work multiple jobs and longer hours, underemployed workers often face last-minute, unpredictable work schedules that can leave them short of hours and unprepared for work.
Employees who feel underemployed may not be able to work to their best ability; stress driven by money issues is a huge driver of productivity problems for employers in multiple industries.
To give hourly workers more protections, some states and municipalities, such as Oregon, Vermont, San Francisco and New York City, have passed predictive scheduling laws requiring employers to give hourly workers schedules in advance, along with other stipulations. Experts have previously told HR Dive such laws may continue to spread, becoming yet another part of the state and local law patchwork.
In a tight labor market, some employers, including retailers, are trying to boost their acquisition efforts by first trying to improve the employee experience for hourly workers; they're using wage increases, more generous benefits, development programs and more.