Around 1,000 hourly service workers with young children in a large US city were sampled with an initial focus on work schedule unpredictability and worker and family well-being. In the form of a daily SMS text messages, participants were asked about their work and home experiences as well as their well-being every day at various points four weeks in fall 2019 and for two weeks in winter 2020. The data collection then shifted with the emergence of COVID-19 to reflect pandemic-related concerns such as food insecurity, job loss, income, and access to pandemic-specific and broader social safety net policy supports. Data collection is ongoing.
The initial goal of this project was to understand how unpredictable work schedules affect hourly service workers and their families. With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project then added goals including
- Understanding how the pandemic affected socioeconomically disadvantaged families, considering both economic and psychological well-being.
- Examining how unequal access to social programs exacerbates racial inequities.
Related Findings and Resources
- Effects of Daily School and Care Disruptions on Child Mental Health (January 2022)
- Understanding Patterns of Food Insecurity and Family Well-Being Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic Using Daily Surveys (September 2021)
- PAA Congressional Briefing on Findings (April 2021)
- Working Families’ Experiences of the Enduring COVID Crisis: Snapshot from Midsummer (November 2020)
- Impact of Disruptions to Schooling and Childcare During the Pandemic (Econofact, May 2021)
- COVID-19 and Parent-Child Psychological Well-Being Pediatrics October 2020
- This is Hard For Everyone. It's Even Harder for Parents Who Don't Make Much Money (FiveThirtyEight, April 2020)
- The Devastating Impact of COVID Crisis on Working Families (March 2020)