Many workers in North Carolina are employed but work in positions where they are underutilized in some way. This is referred to as underemployment and can affect both low-wage workers and non low-wage workers. Examples of underemployment include over-qualification based on education or skills, as well as inability to find a full-time position. Approximately 40% of workers in North Carolina who held a part-time position over the last year were involuntary part-time workers, meaning that they would like to work full-time. This is primarily a result of not being able to find a full-time job or having hours cut at a job that was previously full-time.
There is a sizable number of people in low-wage occupations who are overqualified based on their level of education. Overall, about 18.2 percent of North Carolina’s workforce is overqualified. However, some occupations such as retail salespeople and childcare workers have a higher percentage of workers whose level of education does not match their job requirement.