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Perceived job insecurity and worker health in the United States

Author

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  • Burgard, Sarah A.
  • Brand, Jennie E.
  • House, James S.

Abstract

Economic recessions, the industrial shift from manufacturing toward service industries, and rising global competition have contributed to uncertainty about job security, with potential consequences for workers' health. To address limitations of prior research on the health consequences of perceived job insecurity, we use longitudinal data from two nationally-representative samples of the United States population, and examine episodic and persistent perceived job insecurity over periods of about three years to almost a decade. Results show that persistent perceived job insecurity is a significant and substantively important predictor of poorer self-rated health in the American's Changing Lives (ACL) and Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) samples, and of depressive symptoms among ACL respondents. Job losses or unemployment episodes are associated with perceived job insecurity, but do not account for its association with health. Results are robust to controls for sociodemographic and job characteristics, negative reporting style, and earlier health and health behaviors.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:69:y:2009:i:5:p:777-785
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Paul D. Allison, 1994. "Using Panel Data to Estimate the Effects of Events," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 23(2), pages 174-199, November.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1998:88:7:1030-1036_7 is not listed on IDEAS
    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.
    6. William T. Gallo & Elizabeth H. Bradley & Joel A. Dubin & Richard N. Jones & Tracy A. Falba & Hsun-Mei Teng & Stanislav V. Kasl, 2006. "The Persistence of Depressive Symptoms in Older Workers Who Experience Involuntary Job Loss: Results From the Health and Retirement Survey," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 61(4), pages 221-228.
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