Hustle Hard: Women Workers Combat Underemployment

Although the national unemployment rate has stayed low, currently at 4.3%, US consumers self-report a much higher rate of job-seeking. Almost a quarter of US consumers (24%) say they are either actively or passively looking for work. Nearly half are looking for a part-time gig to earn extra cash.

While Millennials as a generation report flexible work hours to be important when looking for a job, women rate this to be particularly significant – most likely because 40% of moms are the sole or primary source of income for their households. In fact, women are 23% more likely to value flexible work schedules than men (65% versus 53%). Juggling a full-time job and managing a household is time-consuming and stressful; especially when that full-time job isn’t quite making ends meet.

This post uses data to discuss how women workers are unemployed and which jobs they are most willing to take on to fix the gap in their wallets.

Underemployed Women Are Flexible Workers

Unsurprisingly, women are more willing to get their hands dirty with work as cleaning staff, cashiers, servers, health care aides, and in beauty services. However, women are not any less likely to exhibit a willingness to work in workplaces traditionally associated with men such as warehouse stock rooms, as drivers and parking attendants, or in any other industry.

In sum, women are up for any kind of work. Men are more reluctant to consider jobs that may be regarded as “feminine”.

Women Workers Underemployed

Underemployed Workers Experiencing Gender Pay Gap?

Though the gender wage gap is usually associated with white-collar workers, this is not exclusively the case. On the podcast “Freakonomics,” Harvard economist Claudia Goldin argued that the demands of child and family care cause women to make choices about their careers that tend to favor flexibility over higher salaries.

Underemployed Women Flexible Hours

However, these career choices don’t exclusively affect white-collar women. Business Insider reports that female bus drivers earn 76.1% of what men do. Additionally, female painters make 73.5% of their male counterparts’ salary, and female aircraft mechanics and service technicians make 56% as much as men in the same positions.


All-in-all, women in the workforce are primed and ready to hustle to fill the vacancy in their paychecks.

Interested in more data on job seekers and how to use it to grow your business? Download our full report on the hidden job market about underemployed workers here.