Kristen Harknett

Can’t Catch a Break: Intersectional Inequalities at Work

The labor market is the site of longstanding and persistent inequalities across race and gender groups in hiring, compensation, and advancement. In this paper, we draw on data from 13,574 hourly service-sector workers to extend the study of intersectional labor market inequalities to workers’ experience on the job. In the service sector, where workers are regularly expected to be on their feet for long hours and contend with intense and unrelenting workloads, regular break time is an essential component of job quality and general well-being. Yet, we find that Black women are less likely than their counterparts to get a...

The Politics of Prevention: Polarization in How Workplace COVID-19 Safety Practices Shaped the Well-Being of Frontline Service Sector Workers

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reshaped the labor market, especially for service sector workers. Frontline service sector workers, already coping with precarious working conditions, faced proximate risks of COVID-19 transmission on the job and navigated new workplace safety measures, including masking, social distancing, and staying home while sick, all in a polarized political environment.

Why Are Young Workers Leaving Their Jobs?

The American labor market has experienced dramatic changes since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic in the early spring of 2020, with historic job losses followed by a sharp employment recovery.