Working Conditions in the United States Results of the 2015 American Working Conditions Survey

Maestas, Nicole, Kathleen J. Mullen, David Powell, Till von Wachter, and Jeffrey B. Wenger, Working Conditions in the United States: Results of the 2015 American Working Conditions Survey. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2017

79 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2018

See all articles by Nicole Maestas

Nicole Maestas

Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy

Kathleen J. Mullen

RAND Corporation

David Powell

RAND Corporation

Till Von Wachter

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics

Jeffrey B. Wenger

RAND Corporation; American University - School of Public Affairs

Date Written: May 23, 2017

Abstract

This report introduces the American Working Conditions Survey (AWCS), a survey of individuals designed to collect detailed information on a broad range of working conditions in the American workplace. The AWCS was fielded on the RAND American Life Panel (ALP) in 2015. The ALP is a nationally representative (when weighted) sample of individuals residing in the United States who have agreed to participate in regular online surveys. Respondents who do not have a computer at home are provided both a computer and Internet access so that the panel is representative of all individuals in the country, not just Internet users. The survey instrument used by the AWCS was closely harmonized with the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), also fielded in 2015 across a representative sample of workers in 35 countries in Europe.

This report presents detailed findings about the prevalence and distribution of working conditions across the American workforce by age, gender, and education. The AWCS findings indicate that the American workplace is very physically and emotionally taxing, both for workers themselves and their families. Positive findings include that workers appear to have a certain degree of autonomy, most feel confident about their skill set, and many receive social support on the job.

This summary shares our key findings on American working conditions today. After each key finding, we have listed the relevant data tables and figures, which appear later in the report.

Suggested Citation

Maestas, Nicole and Mullen, Kathleen J. and Powell, David and Von Wachter, Till and Wenger, Jeffrey B., Working Conditions in the United States Results of the 2015 American Working Conditions Survey (May 23, 2017). Maestas, Nicole, Kathleen J. Mullen, David Powell, Till von Wachter, and Jeffrey B. Wenger, Working Conditions in the United States: Results of the 2015 American Working Conditions Survey. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3183866

Nicole Maestas (Contact Author)

Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy ( email )

180 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Kathleen J. Mullen

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States
310-393-0411 x6265 (Phone)
310-260-8156 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://works.bepress.com/kathleen_mullen

David Powell

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Till Von Wachter

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

8283 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States

Jeffrey B. Wenger

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA
United States
310 393 0411 (Phone)

American University - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Washington, DC 20016
United States

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