Low wages make it hard for workers to support themselves and their families, but wages are not the only problem that workers in low-wage jobs face. Low-wage jobs are often marked by work scheduling policies and practices that pose particular challenges for workers with significant responsibilities outside of work, including caregiving, pursuing education and workforce training, or holding down a second job. And many offer only part-time work, despite many workers’ need for full-time hours.
Women are disproportionately affected by this problem, because women both hold the majority of low-wage jobs and shoulder the majority of caregiving responsibilities. Nearly 64 percent of women in Maryland over the age of 16 are in the labor force. And especially for the 236,000 women in Maryland working in low-wage jobs, difficult scheduling practices all too often undermine their best efforts to provide for their families.
This report outlines the most common scheduling challenges faced by workers in low-wage jobs and their impact on workers and their families.