Abstract Desired and actual working hours of unmarried adults are analyzed. A discrete structural neoclassical model is used to explain desired hours, which depend on gross wage rates, tax and benefit rules, other income, and some background variables. The model takes account of fixed costs of working and of prediction errors in wage rates of nonworkers. Actual hours are explained from desired hours and hours restrictions. Deviations between actual and desired hours are used to identify equations for involuntary unemployment and the lack of part-time jobs. The model is estimated using cross-section data from the Dutch Socio-Economic Panel. We find larger wage elasticities of desired hours of work for women than for men. Involuntary unemployment and a lack of part-time jobs appear to be important sources of hours restrictions. Individuals with (potential) wages below the minimum wage have a significantly larger probability of involuntary unemployment than others.