National Study of the Changing Workforce
Families and Work Institute’s National Study of the Changing Workforce (NSCW) is the only ongoing study of its kind or scale, providing valuable, timely information on the work and personal/family lives of the U.S. workforce. Conducted approximately every five years, the NSCW provides 30-year trend data (from 1977 to 2008) of life on and off the job. The study is widely used by policy makers, employers, the media and others interested in the widespread impacts of the changing conditions of work and home life. Data from this study informs many of FWI’s ahead-of-the-curve reports, including:
- Times Are Changing: Gender and Generation at Work and at Home
The report reveals two striking trends about gender and generation when the study is compared to data from 1992. First, for the first time since questions about responsibility in the workplace have been asked, women and men under 29 years old did not differ in their desire for jobs with more responsibility. Second, the study demonstrates that long-term demographic changes are the driving force behind gender and generational trends at work and at home.
- The Elder Care Study: Everyday Realities and Wishes for Change
Elder care is an issue that increasingly affects today’s worker and today’s family. This report uses nationally representative data on the U.S. workforce to examine how much of working caregivers’ time is consumed by elder care, what level of support they receive from employers and the demographics of this growing population of Americans with simultaneous work and caregiving responsibilities. The quantitative analysis is accompanied by follow-up interviews with caregivers to underscore the complexities of taking care of an elderly loved one—from communicating with health professionals to balancing work responsibilities to dealing with unavoidable changes in the parent-child relationship.
- Working in Retirement: A 21st Century Phenomenon
Working in retirement has become an increasingly common practice among Americans over 50. This study, using data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce, answers questions about what it means to be “working in retirement,” who is doing so and why. It identifies differences between workers who are working in retirement and their age-peers who have not yet retired. The study identifies which criteria are indicators of job satisfaction for each of these groups and makes recommendations about how to retain individuals who are working in retirement.
- The New Male Mystique
The NSCW finds that men now experience more work-family conflict than women. Since that finding was released in 2009, it has generated a great deal of attention and speculation. This paper is the first to take the same data set and conduct an in-depth exploration of the underlying reasons behind men’s rising work-family conflict. In essence, we have uncovered what we term the “new male mystique.” We find that although men live in a society where gender roles have become more egalitarian and where women contribute increasingly to family economic well-being, men have retained the “traditional male mystique”—the pressure to be the primary financial providers for their families. As such, men who are fathers work longer hours than men the same age who don’t live with a child under 18. However, men are also much more involved in their home lives than men in the past, spending more time with their children and contributing more to the work of caring for their homes and families. In other words, men are experiencing what women experienced when they first entered the workforce in record numbers—the pressure to “do it all in order to have it all.” We term this the new male mystique.
For additional NSCW resources and archived reports, visit the Families and Work Institute reports list.