IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Job insecurity and its association with health among employees in the Taiwanese general population


  • Cheng, Yawen
  • Chen, Chun-Wan
  • Chen, Chiou-Jong
  • Chiang, Tung-liang


As employers respond to intensive global competition through the deregulation of labor, job insecurity has become a widespread problem. It has been shown to have significant health impacts in a growing number of workers, but less is known about its social distribution, the mechanisms through which it may act, and the moderating effects of gender, socioeconomic position, and company size. Utilizing data from a national survey of a representative sample of paid employees in Taiwan, we examined the prevalence of job insecurity and its associations with psychosocial work characteristics and health status. A total of 8705 men and 5986 women aged between 25 and 65 years old were studied. Information on perceived job insecurity, industrial and occupational types, psychosocial work characteristics as assessed by the Job Strain model, and various measures of health status were obtained by a self-administered questionnaire. The overall prevalence of job insecurity was high (50%). Job insecurity was more prevalent among employees with lower education attainment, in blue-collar and construction workers, those employed in smaller companies, and in older women. Insecure employees also reported lower job control, higher job demands, and poor workplace social support, as compared with those who held secure positions. Regression analyses showed that job insecurity was strongly associated with poor health, even with adjustment of age, job control, job demands, and work place social support. The deleterious effects of job insecurity appeared to be stronger in men than women, in women who held managerial or professional jobs than women in other employment grades, and in those working in larger companies than smaller ones. The findings of this study suggest that perceived job insecurity is an important source of stress, and it is accompanied with adverse psychosocial work conditions and poor health. High-risk groups were identified for further investigation.

Suggested Citation

  • Cheng, Yawen & Chen, Chun-Wan & Chen, Chiou-Jong & Chiang, Tung-liang, 2005. "Job insecurity and its association with health among employees in the Taiwanese general population," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 41-52, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:61:y:2005:i:1:p:41-52

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ferrie, Jane E. & Shipley, Martin J. & Marmot, Michael G. & Stansfeld, Stephen & Smith, George Davey, 1998. "The health effects of major organisational change and job insecurity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 243-254, January.
    2. Joelson, Lars & Wahlquist, Leif, 1987. "The psychological meaning of job insecurity and job loss: Results of a longitudinal study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 179-182, January.
    3. Lerner, D.J. & Levine, S. & Malspeis, S. & D'Agostino, R.B., 1994. "Job strain and health-related quality of life in a national sample," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 84(10), pages 1580-1585.
    4. Karasek, R.A. & Theorell, T. & Schwartz, J.E. & Schnall, P.L. & Pieper, C.F. & Michela, J.L., 1988. "Job characteristics in relation to the prevalence of myocardial infarction in the US Health Examination Survey (HES) and the Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES)," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 78(8), pages 910-918.
    5. Heaney, Catherine A. & Israel, Barbara A. & House, James S., 1994. "Chronic job insecurity among automobile workers: Effects on job satisfaction and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1431-1437, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rohde, Nicholas & Tang, K.K. & Osberg, Lars & Rao, Prasada, 2016. "The effect of economic insecurity on mental health: Recent evidence from Australian panel data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 250-258.
    2. Stéphanie Moullet & Zinaida Salibekyan, 2019. "The Perception of Job Insecurity in France: Between Individual Determinants and Managerial Practices [Le sentiment d’insécurité de l’emploi en France : entre déterminants individuels et pratiques m," Post-Print halshs-02484180, HAL.
    3. Christine Lücke & Andreas Knabe, 2018. "How Much Does Others' Protection Matter? Employment Protection, Future Labour Market Prospects and Well-Being," CESifo Working Paper Series 6936, CESifo.
    4. Stéphanie Moullet & Zinaïda Salibekyan, 2019. "The Perception of Job Insecurity in France: Between Individual Determinants and Managerial Practices," Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE), issue 507-508, pages 71-90.
    5. Eve Caroli & Mathilde Godard, 2016. "Does job insecurity deteriorate health?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 131-147, February.
    6. László, Krisztina D. & Pikhart, Hynek & Kopp, Mária S. & Bobak, Martin & Pajak, Andrzej & Malyutina, Sofia & Salavecz, Gyöngyvér & Marmot, Michael, 2010. "Job insecurity and health: A study of 16 European countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 867-874, March.
    7. Gutierrez, Italo A. & Michaud, Pierre-Carl, 2015. "Employer Downsizing and Older Workers' Health," IZA Discussion Papers 9140, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Eve Caroli & Mathilde Godard, 2013. "Does Job Insecurity Deteriorate Health ? A Causal Approach for Europe," Working Papers 2013-13, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    9. Chen, Duan-Rung & Chang, Ly-Yun & Yang, Meng-Li, 2008. "Gender-specific responses to social determinants associated with self-perceived health in Taiwan: A multilevel approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(10), pages 1630-1640, November.
    10. Ali, Imran & Ali, Murad & Grigore, Georgiana & Molesworth, Mike & Jin, Zhongqi, 2020. "The moderating role of corporate reputation and employee-company identification on the work-related outcomes of job insecurity resulting from workforce localization policies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 825-838.
    11. Nicholas Rohde & KK Tang & Lars Osberg, 2017. "The self-reinforcing dynamics of economic insecurity and obesity," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(17), pages 1668-1678, April.
    12. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13646 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Antonio Rodríguez & Sunny Collings & Ping Qin, 2008. "Socio-economic differences in suicide risk vary by sex : A population-based case-control study of 18-65 year olds in Denmark," Development Research Working Paper Series 05/2008, Institute for Advanced Development Studies.
    14. Virginia Navajas-Romero & Rosalía Díaz-Carrión & Antonio Ariza-Montes, 2019. "Decent Work as Determinant of Work Engagement on Dependent Self-Employed," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(9), pages 1-17, April.
    15. Alice Sanwald & Engelbert Theurl, 2014. "Atypical Employment and Health: A Meta-Analysis," Working Papers 2014-15, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    16. Elena Cottini & Paolo Ghinetti, 2018. "Employment insecurity and employees' health in Denmark," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 426-439, February.
    17. Burgard, Sarah A. & Brand, Jennie E. & House, James S., 2009. "Perceived job insecurity and worker health in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 777-785, September.
    18. Shahrul Nizam Salahudin & Zuliawati Mohamed Saad & Shirley Ken Tzu Ting & Mohd Nur Ruzainy Alwi, 2012. "Job Characteristics And Employee Wellbeing: A Case Of Malaysian Smes," Journal of Global Entrepreneurship, Global Research Agency, vol. 2(1), pages 36-47, January.
    19. Lücke, Christine, 2017. "How much does others’ protection matter? Employment protection and well-being," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168096, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Fiori, Francesca & Rinesi, Francesca & Spizzichino, Daniele & Di Giorgio, Ginevra, 2016. "Employment insecurity and mental health during the economic recession: An analysis of the young adult labour force in Italy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 90-98.
    21. Kim, Il-Ho & Muntaner, Carles & Vahid Shahidi, Faraz & Vives, Alejandra & Vanroelen, Christophe & Benach, Joan, 2012. "Welfare states, flexible employment, and health: A critical review," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 99-127.
    22. Murat Darçın, 2016. "Relationship Between Working Condition Quality and Perceived Quality of Society," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 1193-1205, December.
    23. Inmaculada Silla & Nele Cuyper & Francisco Gracia & José Peiró & Hans Witte, 2009. "Job Insecurity and Well-Being: Moderation by Employability," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(6), pages 739-751, December.
    24. Yeh, Wan-Yu & Cheng, Yawen & Chen, Chiou-Jung, 2009. "Social patterns of pay systems and their associations with psychosocial job characteristics and burnout among paid employees in Taiwan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(8), pages 1407-1415, April.
    25. M. Haley & Laurie Miller, 2015. "Correlates of flexible working arrangements, stress, and sleep difficulties in the US workforce: does the flexibility of the flexibility matter?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1395-1418, June.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:61:y:2005:i:1:p:41-52. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.