The Underemployed: Evidence From the UK Labour Force Survey for a Conditionally Gendered Top-down Model

Surhan Cam


Systematic research into underemployment is limited in Britain and specific analyses of its relation to work-status are largely missing from the academic debate. The present study explores the impact of work-status on underemployment along with references to demographic indicators. We examine Labour Force Survey data through logistic regressions. Our results fit into what one might call a conditionally gendered top-down model: As measured by work-place characteristics, work-contracts and occupational levels, one’s status at work inversely correlates with the likelihood of underemployment. Such a top-down propensity largely reflects a decline in demand for lower skills in the UK since the beginning of the recession in 2008. The model also has a gendered character which helps explain a relatively higher rise in female underemployment amid the economic downturn. However, this character rather takes a conditional form due to opposite gender disparities in different work settings. In female-dominated works including sales, customer services and part-time jobs, for example, women’s underemployment is lower than men’s, but it is higher in elementary occupations, especially because of glass-ceiling.

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Copyright (c) 2014 Surhan Cam

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Journal of Social Science Studies ISSN 2329-9150

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