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Labour Force Surveys (LFS) – Theme: Organisation of working time 2008-2018

Unsocial work hours most common among young women

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2019-10-01 9.30

Unsocial work hours were more common among women than among men in 2008-2018. It was also more common for younger persons and persons with a low level of education to work hours other than daytime on weekdays, compared to older persons and persons with at least upper secondary education. Unsocial work hours were most common among young women. In 2018 almost two thirds in this group worked either only unsocial work hours or worked daytime and unsocial work hours.

The figures in this theme report are based on collected data that contains quality deficiencies. Revised LFS figures have been published and are available here:

Labour Force Surveys

This thematic report describes the organisation of working time among employed persons aged 15-74 years. The focus of the report lies on describing the situation in 2018, but also includes comparisons with previous years. Unsocial hours are defined as work during hours other than Monday to Friday between 06:00 and 18:00 (that is, evenings, nights, weekends and/or shift work). To be included in the group of persons who work unsocial hours, it is sufficient for part of the working time to be other than weekdays between 06:00 and 18:00.

In 2008-2018 unsocial hours more common among women

In 2008, 61.7 percent of employed persons worked only during daytime, while 38.3 percent worked unsocial hours. The corresponding shares in 2018 were 64.5 percent and 35.5 percent, respectively. Women worked unsocial hours to a greater extent than men, throughout the time period. However, starting in 2012, the gap between the sexes narrowed, which is explained by the fact that the share diminished at a faster rate among women than among men.

In 2018, 1 809 000 employed persons worked unsocial hours

There were 5 113 000 employed persons aged 15-74 years in 2018. Among these persons, 3 285 000 worked only daytime on weekdays, while 1 809 000 persons worked during unsocial hours. Among the 1 809 000 persons, 913 000 were men and 896 000 were women. In 2018, 64.5 percent of employed persons worked only during daytime on weekdays, while 35.5 percent worked wholly or partly during unsocial hours. The share of those who worked hours other than daytime on weekdays was higher among women than among men, 37.0 percent and 34.2 percent respectively.

Younger women worked most during hours other than daytime on weekdays

It was more common for younger persons to work unsocial hours compared with others. Among employed persons aged 15-24 years, 58.6 percent worked wholly or partly during hours other than daytime on weekdays in 2018. The corresponding shares among those aged 25-64 years and 65-74 years was 32.7 percent and 37.3 percent respectively. Among young persons, the share of women who worked unsocial hours was also larger (65.0 percent) than the corresponding share of men (52.2 percent), while there was no major difference between the sexes in the two other age groups.

Persons with low level of education worked more unsocial hours than others

The share of employed persons who worked unsocial hours was smaller among persons with a higher level of education. In 2018, this share was 48.2 percent among persons with compulsory education, 40.6 percent among persons with upper secondary education, and 29.0 percent among persons with post-secondary education. The gender gap also decreased with higher levels of education. Among persons with compulsory education, the gap between the sexes was 12.2 percentage points, 8.7 percentage points among those with upper secondary education and among those with post-secondary education there was no difference between the sexes.

One in two temporary employees worked during unsocial hours

Working unsocial hours was less common among permanent employees than among temporary employees, self-employed persons, and unpaid family workers. Among permanent employees, 31.1 percent worked wholly or partly during hours other than daytime on weekdays in 2018; the corresponding share among temporary employees was 48.3 percent and 50.4 percent among self-employed persons and unpaid family workers. Regardless of their level of attachment to the labour market, the share of those who worked during unsocial hours was larger among women than among men.

Unsocial hours more likely with shorter working hours

In 2018, among persons who worked full-time, that is, those who have an agreed working time of 35 hours or more, 30.9 percent had all or parts of their working time scheduled during hours other than daytime on weekdays. Among those working long part-time, 20-34 hours, the corresponding share was 48.4 percent, while among those working short part-time, 1-19 hours, the share was 59.3 percent. In other words, the shorter the working time, the more likely it was that working time was scheduled wholly or partly during hours other than daytime on weekdays. The difference between the sexes was minor or non-existent, across all agreed lengths of working time.

Publication

A more detailed report is available in the report Organisation of working time 2008-2018 (Statistical Report AM 110 SM 1903).

Labour Force Surveys (LFS) – Theme: Organisation of working time 2008-2018

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