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"Good jobs" to "bad jobs": replicated evidence of an employment continuum from two large surveys


  • Grzywacz, Joseph G.
  • Dooley, David


The goal of this study was to offer an expanded conceptualization of the employment continuum and test its utility by examining the association of different employment statuses with physical health and depression. Using data from two large cross-sectional surveys we develop five different employment categories (i.e., "optimal", "economically good", "psychologically good", "barely adequate", and "inadequate" employment) in addition to unemployment to form an employment continuum. Evidence from these studies indicates that less than optimal forms of employment are not randomly distributed throughout the population, and that a substantial number of adults are working in "inadequate or "barely adequate" jobs. Moreover, our analyses revealed a consistent association between less than optimal jobs and poorer physical and mental health among adults. We conclude our paper by discussing important policy implications of these findings and offering suggestions for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Grzywacz, Joseph G. & Dooley, David, 2003. ""Good jobs" to "bad jobs": replicated evidence of an employment continuum from two large surveys," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1749-1760, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:8:p:1749-1760

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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Hyclak & Chad Meyerhoefer & Larry Taylor, 2015. "Older Americans’ health and the Great Recession," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 413-436, June.
    2. Blight, Karin Johansson & Ekblad, Solvig & Persson, Jan-Olov & Ekberg, Jan, 2006. "Mental health, employment and gender. Cross-sectional evidence in a sample of refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina living in two Swedish regions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(7), pages 1697-1709, April.
    3. Broom, Dorothy H. & D'Souza, Rennie M. & Strazdins, Lyndall & Butterworth, Peter & Parslow, Ruth & Rodgers, Bryan, 2006. "The lesser evil: Bad jobs or unemployment? A survey of mid-aged Australians," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 575-586, August.


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