Income Volatility in the Service Sector: Countours, Causes, and, Consequences


Research Brief

This new EPIC research brief by Daniel Schneider (UC Berkeley) and Kristen Harknett (University of Pennsylvania) enhances our understanding of the connections between income swings and family outcomes for hourly retail workers. These workers are vulnerable to income shocks because they earn low wages, have changing, often unpredictable schedules, and are paid hourly. Many experience severe degrees of income volatility on a weekto-week basis, driven partly by unpredictable and unstable scheduling. The brief presents results from the Retail Work and Family Life survey, a national survey of service sector workers. T