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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 99, Issue 3, pp 195–200 | Cite as

Long-term Employment and Health Inequalities in Canadian Communities

  • Jalil SafaeiEmail author
Article
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Abstract

Objectives

This study examines the long-term unemployment rate and various health outcomes across Canadian communities to estimate employment-related health inequalities in these communities.

Methods

The study uses cross-sectional community-level health data along with data on the long-term employment rate for various communities across Canada to quantify health inequalities among these communities. The health outcomes that are considered in this study include total and disease specific mortality rates; health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, injuries, and self rated health; and life expectancies at birth and at age 65. Health inequalities are estimated using the concentration index, which is used to measure health inequalities along socioeconomic dimensions. The concentration index is estimated by a regression of weighted relative health (ill health) over weighted cumulative relative rank of the populations. All the estimates are provided separately for males and females.

Results

The findings of the study support the existence of inequalities in community health outcomes as related to the long-term employment rates in those communities. Communities with lower long term employment rates (higher unemployment rates) have poorer health outcomes in terms of higher mortality rates, worse health conditions, and shorter life expectancies.

Conclusion

Health inequalities related to long-term employment have important policy implications. They call for policies that would increase and maintain long term employment rates as part of a broader socioeconomic approach to health. Long term employment ensures income security and prevents the psychosocial experiences leading to mental and physical ill health.

Key words

Employment health inequality community Canada 

Résumé

Objectifs

Notre étude compare les taux de chômage à long terme et divers résultats cliniques dans des localités canadiennes afin d’évaluer les inégalités en santé liées à l’emploi dans ces localités.

Méthode

Des données transversales sur la santé et des données sur les taux d’emploi à long terme dans diverses localités du Canada ont servi à quantifier les inégalités en santé d’une localité à l’autre. Les résultats cliniques pris en compte étaient les taux de mortalité totaux et par maladie; les troubles médicaux comme l’hypertension artérielle, le diabète, les blessures et l’état de santé auto-évalué; et l’espérance de vie à la naissance et à 65 ans. Les inégalités en santé ont été évaluées à l’aide d’un indice de concentration, qui sert à mesurer les inégalités en santé dans leurs dimensions socioéconomiques. L’indice de concentration est calculé par la régression de l’état de santé relatif pondéré (la morbidité) sur le rang cumulatif relatif pondéré des populations. Toutes les estimations sont fournies séparément pour les hommes et pour les femmes.

Résultats

L’étude confirme l’existence d’inégalités dans les résultats cliniques des localités par rapport à leurs taux d’emploi à long terme. Les localités où les taux d’emploi à long terme sont faibles (taux de chômage élevé) affichent de moins bons résultats cliniques (des taux de mortalité supérieurs, davantage de troubles médicaux et une espérance de vie plus courte).

Conclusion

Le lien entre les inégalités en santé et l’emploi à long terme a d’importantes répercussions stratégiques. Il faudrait des politiques pour accroître et soutenir les taux d’emploi à long terme dans le cadre d’une approche socioéconomique élargie de la santé. L’emploi à long terme garantit la sécurité du revenu et prévient les expériences psychosociales qui mènent aux problèmes de santé mentale et physique.

Mots clés

emploi; santé; inégalités; localités; Canada 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics ProgramUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada

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