Researchers, advocates, policymakers, and government agencies all rely on data to improve the socioeconomic outcomes of working people. Without comprehensive measures, it becomes difficult to gauge the growing challenges facing historically marginalized populations like low-wage workers. Even some of our most reliable data sources have their shortcomings — limitations that could have lasting implications on real people and in most cases, some of the most disparate.
Underemployment disproportionately afflicts people who have been historically marginalized and anybody facing barriers to economic security. Using these broader measures, our study finds that 4 in 10 part-time workers prefer more hours of work, compared to wanting the same or fewer hours.