LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The constant struggle for Los Angeles County’s retail workers to work more hours and have a reliable schedule could ultimately harm the local economy, says a study out of UCLA.

The UCLA Labor Center study of the city’s more than 140,000 retail workers found that 8 in 10 Los Angeles retail workers have work days, shift times, and the number of hours they are given vary drastically from week to week.

According to the report, 77 percent of retail workers receive notice of their schedules within a week or less, while a majority face last-minute schedule changes – including cancellation – even after their hours are posted. Half of retail workers want to work more hours, and the majority want 40 hours or more just to make ends meet. The report also found that 64 percent of workers surveyed say they earn $13.68 or less an hour.

Unreliable work schedules naturally leads to unstable incomes – one in two workers are late paying bills, almost half of retail workers supporting children struggle with childcare, and students are often forced to choose between school and their need to earn a living, Janna Shadduck-Hernandez, who co-authored the report, said in a statement.

“Big corporations are forcing caretakers, parents, and students to scramble to meet last-minute, unreliable work hours, and this harms our communities and slows down the economy,” she said.

The study was based on surveys with more than 800 Los Angeles retail workers conducted between December 2016 and June 2017 and government data.

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