Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Douglas C. Maynard
Underemployment refers to employment that is inadequate, inferior, or of low quality, relative to some standard. Researchers—mostly economists, industrial-organizational psychologists, and sociologists—agree that there are several distinct types of underemployment, although there is less agreement on exactly what counts as underemployment or how many types there are. Nevertheless, the following experiences are regularly classified as underemployment: Overqualification: These workers possess surplus (a) formal education, (b) work experience, and/or (c) knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs), relative to the job demands or requirements. Involuntary Part-Time and/or Temporary Employment: These workers are employed in part-time and/or temporary jobs because they cannot find full-time and/or permanent positions. Underpayment: The worker's wages are significantly less than a certain standard. Standards include (a) the worker's wages from a previous job, (b) typical wages for someone with the worker's educational background, and (c) a livable wage. Other types of work experiences occasionally identified as underemployment include unemployment, ...