The Underemployment Project

by | Jan 1, 2023

Professor Tracey Warren and Dr Luis Torres from Nottingham University Business School are part of a four-university consortium that has won UKRI/ESRC funding worth £962,977 to study underemployment in the UK. They will carry out analysis of large, nationally representative, survey data.

Increasing numbers of workers are underemployed: working below their potential or preference in terms of hours, wages and/or skills (HWS). This study will address, through a longitudinal mix-methods’ design, the knowledge gap that exists in what we know about underemployment levels, composition, predictors and outcomes and about the lived experiences of underemployed workers.

The three main objectives are to:

  1. Provide the first holistic, mixed-methods longitudinal picture of the lived experiences of underemployed workers across different case study locations.
  2. Contribute to theorising underemployment within the labour market continuum approach and as a nuanced multi-layered concept within contemporary working lives.
  3. Offer evidence-based recommendations to employers and policymakers, to address the impact of underemployment on social inequalities among individuals, families and communities.

Underemployment is a key societal challenge as it renders workers more vulnerable to the fast and continuing economic fluctuations resulting from industrial changes, recessions and austerity measures, Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Visit the project’s website: