26 August 2020
This research utilized a person-centered approach to identify profiles of decent work and precarious work, which were explored due to their centrality in current debates about the uncertain state of work conditions in the U.S. Using the Decent Work Scale and the Precarious Work Scale, the following five profiles were identified from a sample of 492 working Americans: 1) Indecent-Precarious; 2) Highly Decent; 3) Low Health Care-Low Rights; 4) Vulnerability-Dominant; 5) Health Care-Stability. These profiles were further elaborated by examining the relationship of theoretically-informed predictors and outcomes that would distinguish profile membership. Using psychology of working theory as an organizing framework for determining predictors and outcomes, the findings revealed that work volition, age, income level, and educational level significantly predicted profile membership, and autonomy, social contribution, survival needs, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction differed meaningfully across the profiles. Implications for theory, research, practice, and public policy are discussed highlighting the complexity of work conditions and their relationship to various aspects of vocational and psychological functioning.