New Research Observes Trends in Hour Levels for Retail Workers in North America
September 10, 2012
Upjohn Institute researcher Chris Tilly and Center for Social Policy Research Director Françoise Carré produced a study titled, Work Hours in Retail: Room for Improvement. It examines trends in hour levels for retail workers in North America in an effort to aid policymakers to mitigate hour shortages for retail workers in the United States.
According to Carré and Tilly, insufficient hours bar retail workers from receiving adequate compensation for their work. Government data on daily, weekly, and annual hours performed by retail workers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico reveal two trends contributing to this issue. In order to accommodate 24-hour customer service at their outlets, American and Canadian retailers are increasingly hiring part-time employees over full-time ones to save costs on benefits. Mexican retailers, however, pay retail employees a negotiable daily wage, allowing them to extend hours without paying overtime costs. The product of these trends is a poorly compensated retail workforce with little opportunity to pursue higher pay.
Understanding these two trends will have important implications for retailers, policymakers, and consumers alike as the retail industry expands its employee base. Carré and Tilly thoroughly address these implications by extrapolating the effects of suggested policy changes on retail management.
For questions about the study, please contact Research Director Françoise Carré at 617.287.5516 or by email.
For more information on the Center for Social Policy, visit csp.umb.edu.
About the Center for Social Policy
The Center for Social Policy (CSP) is part of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, a public research university with an urban mission. Through its Reshaping Poverty Policy agenda, CSP provides expertise on policies and practices that reduce social and economic inequalities through active engagement with policymakers, researchers, service providers, and those communities most directly affected by these policies.