The Occupational Classes: Not All Jobs are Created Equal – Work Schedule Edition

The next edition of our comparative Insight series compares the creative and service occupational classes in terms of work schedule. A “traditional” work schedule is a regular daytime — Monday–Friday, 9–5 — working arrangement. A “non-traditional” arrangement is anything else — it may be more variable or entail shift work. Both are full time in terms of hours worked per week.

Exhibit 1: Work Schedules (Traditional and Non-Traditional) for Creative and Service Classes (2008)

The ‘share’ row tells us what proportion of each occupational class either can control and predict their work schedule (“Traditional”) and what proportion cannot (“Non-Traditional”). We find that 77% of creatives can control their work schedule, while 23% cannot — as well, more creative jobs tend to be in a traditional arrangement. In contrast, only 55% of service workers can control their work schedule, while 44% cannot. As such, there are more non-traditional employment relationships in the service class.

In both occupational classes, workers with a traditional workweek earn more income (on average) than their occupational peers who have a non-traditional workweek. One interesting finding from the table above is that of the non-traditional service workers (who cannot control their schedule), +64% work part-time involuntarily. We also see that lots of service workers work voluntarily in non-traditional workweeks. As the service class is dominated by women, and we have seen that more women work part-time, it is likely that the majority of these workers are female. In the creative class, only ¼ (23.2%) report a non-traditional workweek, whereas ~45% of the service class is working non-traditional hours. Yet a lot of these non-traditional arrangements are part time and voluntary.

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The Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management is the world’s leading think-tank on the role of sub-national factors—location, place and city-regions—in global economic prosperity. We take an integrated view of prosperity, looking beyond economic measures to include the importance of quality of place and the development of people’s creative potential.