Stereotypes slowly tend to seep into society despite best efforts, often leaving little untouched in their wake – including perceptions of the U.S. workforce. When someone thinks of the hourly worker, the knee-jerk reaction often conjures images of young, fast food workers. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Thanks to the first-ever research conducted on the hourly worker, we now know more about a labor segment of society that consist of some 77 million US employees.

One of many fascinating findings from the research is that the vast majority of hourly workers are far beyond their teenage years.

In fact, 63% of the hourly worker population are between the ages of 25 and 54 years-old.

Profile of the Hourly Worker - Age Distribution

 

This research shatters the age stereotype and doesn’t stop there.

As we dove deeper into researching the hourly worker, we also found that the majority of employees are not working in the fast food industry.

In fact, those working in the food & beverage industry actually represent a smaller minority of the hourly workforce overall. There are five other industries claiming significantly more – sometimes double – hourly workers than those working in food & beverage.

Profile of the Hourly Worker - INDUSTRY Distribution

 

Given this new research, it’s clear what everyone thought they knew about hourly workers couldn’t be further from the truth. The backbone of the American workforce relies on hourly employees that represent a surprisingly diverse swath of industries, ages, and much more.

 

Editor’s Note: Profile of the Hourly Worker’s first report — Demographics, Devices and Disconnection — was released in November 2015. It is an independent survey conducted by Edison Research on behalf of Red e App to discover insights and details about the United States hourly workforce. To request a copy of the report, just drop us your name and email address on the report page.