Nonstandard Work Hours and Disability: A National View

Harriet B. Presser, University of Maryland
Barbara Altman, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Americans are moving toward a 24-hour economy, driven by economic, technological, and demographic changes. As of 1997, one out of five employed Americans worked nonstandard hours - that is, an evening, night, or rotating shift. This study explores for the first time the participation of persons with disabilities in the 24-hour economy. We find that employed persons with disabilities are working nonstandard hours to a similar extent as those without disabilities. However, persons with disabilities work fewer hours and are paid lower hourly wages regardless of their work schedules. This assessment is based on data from the 1996 Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). The sample is limited to employed individuals aged 18 and over, and to those respondents for whom there are values on all the variables of interest. The resulting sample size is 9,226: 4,800 men and 4,426 women. Both descriptive data and regression analyses are presented.

Presented in Session 22: Economic Demography Issues of Disability and Disability Policy