September 9, 2014

Underemployment Study Finds Most Workers Feel Underpaid, Gender Gap Prevalent

most workers feel underpaidPayScale, Inc. has announced its report, Underemployment: Overeducated, Underpaid, and Underworked. The report also includes new findings about the Skills Gap, based upon employer responses.

“Underemployment is a real concern for today’s job seekers as the economic recovery continues to be sluggish,” Katie Bardaro, lead economist at PayScale, said. “Hiring in many industries remains below expectations and unless you are in certain high-demand fields like technology or health care, well-paying job opportunities are simply not plentiful.”

Some highlights from PayScale’s Underemployment study include:

  • Being underpaid is the most common reason (80 percent) that workers say they are underemployed.
  • 48 percent of female workers say they are underemployed, compared to 39 percent of male workers.
  • Generation Y, defined as workers born between 1982 and 2002, is experiencing the most underemployed workers (45 percent). However, they are the least likely (77 percent) to say they are underpaid.
  • 12 out of 15 of the most underemployed majors have more female than male graduates.
  • Liberal Arts, Psychology, and English Language and Literature are the three majors with the highest percentage of workers who claim to be underemployed because they are not using their education/training. These majors all have more than 70 percent female graduates.

“PayScale has found that more than 40 percent of our surveyed users feel they are underemployed, and the overwhelming majority of them (80 percent) feel it is due to their pay not matching their level of education or training. Underemployment is clearly a broader issue than the strict definition by the Bureau of Labor Statistics which defines it as settling for part-time work when seeking full-time work,” continued Bardaro.

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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.