Indiana has the 2nd Largest Share of Night Shift Workers

Over nine million Americans, or about 6% of all workers, work night shifts regularly, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. These workers are vulnerable to unique risks associated with night shifts, including sleepiness on the job, fatigue, as well as a variety of health issues. Night shifts are much more common in certain occupations, most of which tend to be lower-paying jobs. As a result, night shift workers tend to earn less than other workers despite the added risks.

According to Census Bureau data, the most common time of arrival to work is between 7:00 and 9:00 am, and by 11:00 am 70% of the nation’s workforce is on the job. The number of employees working drops off sharply after 4:00 pm. By 6:00 pm, only 20% are still working and after 9:00 pm, fewer than 10% remain on the clock.

The risks associated with night shift work include both the direct impacts of abnormal sleep schedules, such as drowsiness while driving home, reduced attention and productivity, and sleep disorders, as well as other health risks—heart disease, metabolic disorders, and cancer. Recent research from the National Toxicology Program finds that disruptions to our natural circadian rhythms, caused by working at night, can hurt the biological systems that help prevent cancer. Workers who regularly work nights are most at risk, especially those who work at least three hours between midnight and 5:00 am and do so for 10 years or more. While most occupations are conducive to regular, daytime work schedules, it is common in some jobs to work nights.

Out of all occupations, disc jockeys (DJs) are the most likely to work nights, with 35% regularly working night shifts. Closely following are gambling service workers—who often work in 24-hour casinos—with 32% working nights. Other occupations with high shares of night-shift workers include postal employees, respiratory therapists (who frequently work hospital night shifts), and locomotive engineers. Workers in these occupations and others with high shares of night shift workers are especially vulnerable to the health risks associated with night shifts.

Night shift workers are more concentrated in some geographic areas than others. With 9.5% of its workforce regularly working nights, Nevada has the highest share of night shift workers in the country. Nevada is not only home to a large number of gambling service workers, but bars can be open 24 hours per day, meaning many Nevada service industry employees work nights. In contrast, Vermont has the lowest share of night shift workers in the U.S. with just 3.8% of its workforce working night shifts.

To determine the states with the most night shift workers, researchers at Porch analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau. States were ranked by the percentage of workers who work nights, defined as those workers who arrive at work between 5:00 pm and 3:59 am. Researchers also calculated the total number of workers who work nights, the median annual wage for night workers, and the median annual wage for all workers.

The analysis found that 243,172 Indiana workers—7.5% of the state’s total workforce—work night shifts. Out of all U.S. states, Indiana has the 2nd largest share of night shift workers.

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