Purpose – Taking a broad review of the management and economics literature, the purpose of this paper is to examine how the recent “Great Recession” has had a disproportionate adverse impact on US labor markets and created social disruptions to professional workers experiencing persistent unemployment or underemployment. Design/methodology/approach – Secondary data analysis shows how the recent recession has had a disproportionate impact on employment. Recognizing underemployment as a potentially persistent state, the authors delineate the extent and consequences of underemployment. Findings – Analyses of unemployment and underemployment resulting from the recent recession suggest it has had a particularly severe detrimental impact on worker benefits, incomes and employment prospects for most US workers. Research limitations/implications – Secondary data analysis is a major limitation but results justify a call for further research into the potential increase in the long‐term economic displacement of professional workers. Originality/value – This paper is unique in applying economic and management constructs in an analysis of the origins, consequences and recommendations for decreasing the rising level of underemployment among professional US workers.
Management Research Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 17, 2013
Keywords: United States of America; Labour market; Unemployment; Recession; Underemployment; Professional employees
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