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Rural men and women are more likely to be pulling the night shift than are urban workers. So finds a new study from the Carsey Institute, at University of New Hampshire.

Sociologist Rogelio Saenz studied when workers, metro and non-metro, arrived at the job. He found that rural people were over-represented in non-traditional shifts; a higher ratio of rural workers clocked in after noon and before 6 a.m.

Saenz further found that white workers were proportionally most likely to be employed during the “traditional” work hours, whereas “those who tend to be more marginally tied to the labor force (persons of color, the foreign-born, those with English-speaking limitations, and the poor) tend to be more likely to work during the early morning, afternoon, and evening hours.”

Saenz notes that people on second and third shifts may be deprived of “normal” social opportunities – like school activities and access to health care and day care.

There is also mounting evidence that night-shift workers have a greater incidence of cancer and other illnesses.

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