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Underemployment in the United States and Europe

Author

Listed:
  • David N. F. Bell
  • David G. Blanchflower

Abstract

The authors produce estimates for a new and better rate of underemployment for 25 countries using the European Labor Force Survey that is based on workers’ reports of their preferred hours at the going wage. Both voluntary and involuntary part-time workers report they want more hours. Full-time workers who say they want to change their hours, mostly say they want to reduce them. When the Great Recession hit, the number of hours of those who said they wanted more hours increased, and the number of hours of those who said they wanted fewer hours decreased. The percentage of workers in both categories remains elevated. The authors provide evidence for the United Kingdom and the United States as well as from an international sample that underemployment lowers pay in the years after the Great Recession, but the unemployment rate does not. They also find evidence for the United States that decreases in the home ownership rate have helped to keep wage pressure in check. Underemployment replaces unemployment as the main influence on wages in the years since the Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • David N. F. Bell & David G. Blanchflower, 2021. "Underemployment in the United States and Europe," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 74(1), pages 56-94, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:74:y:2021:i:1:p:56-94
    DOI: 10.1177/0019793919886527
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Piper & David G. Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2021. "Does Pain Lead to Job Loss? A Panel Study for Germany," NBER Working Papers 28863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jean-François Fagnart & Marc Germain & Bruno Van der Linden, 2020. "Working Time Reduction and Employment in a Finite World," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020032, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. Elżbieta Macioszek & Anna Granà, 2021. "The Analysis of the Factors Influencing the Severity of Bicyclist Injury in Bicyclist-Vehicle Crashes," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(1), pages 1-23, December.
    4. Bertheau, Antoine & Vejlin, Rune Majlund, 2022. "Employer-to-Employer Transitions and Time Aggregation Bias," IZA Discussion Papers 15030, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Lehner, Lukas & Ramskogler, Paul & Riedl, Aleksandra, 2022. "Begging thy coworker – Labor market dualization and the slow-down of wage growth in Europe," INET Oxford Working Papers 2022-04, Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford.
    6. Dominika P. Brodowicz & Anna Stankowska, 2021. "European Union’s Goals Towards Electromobility: An Assessment of Plans’ Implementation in Polish Cities," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(4), pages 645-665.
    7. Emilian DOBRESCU, 2021. "Potential Output: A Market Conditionalities Interpretation," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(4), pages 5-38, December.

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