Shift Work in the United States
The dawning of a 24–7 US economy has reshaped the timing of work for a growing number of Americans. Economic, demographic, and social changes in recent decades have boosted the demand and necessity for around-the-clock business practices and flexible work schedules that fall outside the traditional Monday-through-Friday workweek and nine-to-five workday. Globalization, the shift to a service-based economy, delays in marriage and childbirth, the growth of dual-earner households, and the greying of America have profoundly increased the number of Americans working night shifts or rotating schedules (i.e., shift work) or evening, irregular, split-shift, or weekend hours – collectively known as “nonstandard work schedules.” The unconventional nature of nonstandard work has provoked concerns from scholars regarding the implications that such schedules have for individual and family well-being. This entry reviews this empirical literature.