Inequality in Job Conditions in the Service Sector (Shift Project)

Investigators: Kristen Harknett, PhD and Daniel Schneider, PhD

The Shift Project uses data from over 200,000 service sector workers nested in more than 150 large firms, collected from 2017-2023 and from a subset of workers followed longitudinally between 2021-2024. 

Specific aims:

1. Document gender and race/ethnic inequality in a set of work conditions that are social determinants of health but are typically absent from national data sources.

2. Estimate the effects of local labor laws and higher road employment practices on unequal working conditions. 

3. Examine the effects of the COVID19 shock on job displacement and inequality in work conditions.

Recently, project investigators compiled a state and county policy database, which documents efforts made by states and local governments to expand or curtail protections for workers. Data includes policies affecting wages, schedules, paid time off, COVID-19 safety measures, and some often-overlooked aspects of worker protections such as the rights and protections of transgender and nonbinary workers and undocumented workers. This data offers insight into a changing policy landscape for workers in a polarized legal landscape and serves as a public resource for labor and policy researchers interested in policy impacts. The database is posted to GitHub and publicly accessible to other researchers interested in understanding how policy environments influence working conditions and population health. 

Presentations and Publications: