NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Trend Toward Flexibile Hours

December 26, 2002

Some economists believe granting workers some flexibility in their work schedules improves their productivity. And some employers use flexibility to attract and keep their best workers. More than a quarter of all fulltime workers are now on "flex-time" schedules.

  • According to a recent survey by Eileen Appelbaum at Rutgers University, the proportion of full-time workers who were allowed to determine either the starting or ending of their work day rose from 27.6 percent in 1997 to 28.8 percent in 2001.
  • As of 2001, the proportion of all white workers -- and all male workers -- who enjoyed flexible schedules stood at 30 percent in both categories.
  • The figure for women workers was 27.4 percent.
  • Among minorities, 21.2 percent of black workers operated on flexible schedules -- and the figure for Hispanics was 19.8 percent.

Between 1997-2001, flexibility increased in all categories by about 1 percent.

Source: Jeff Madrick (Cooper Union), "Economic Scene: Working Families Are Often the First to Suffer When a Country Loses Its Sense of Optimism," New York Times, December 26, 2002.


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