show only slight improvement, if any, due to the slow pace of the recovery.
Overall, more than 16 per cent of adults ages 16 and older are now "underutilized'' in the labor market Ė that is, they are unemployed, "underemployed'' in part-time jobs when full-time work is desired or among the "hidden unemployed'' who are not actively job hunting but express a desire for immediate work.
Among households making less than $20,000 a year, the share of underutilized workers jumps to about 40 per cent. For those in the $20,000-to-$39,999 category, it's just over 21 per cent and about 15 per cent for those earning $40,000 to $59,999. At the top of the scale, underutilization affects just 7.2 per cent of those in households earning more than $150,000.
By race and ethnicity, black workers in households earning less than $20,000 were the most likely to be underutilized, at 48.4 per cent. Low-income Hispanics and whites were almost equally as likely to be underutilized, at 38 per cent and 36.8 per cent, respectively, compared to 31.8 per cent for low-income Asian-Americans.
Loss of jobs in the recent recession has hit younger, less-educated workers especially hard. Fewer teenagers are taking on low-wage jobs as older adults pushed out of disappearing mid-skill jobs, such as bank teller or administrative assistant, move down the ladder.