Social Indicators Research

, Volume 103, Issue 3, pp 427–442 | Cite as

Perceptions of Job Security in Europe’s Ageing Workforce

  • Karsten HankEmail author
  • Marcel Erlinghagen


Using data from the 2004 Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, this paper investigates older workers’ perceptions of job security in eleven countries. We describe cross-national patterns and estimate multilevel models to analyse individual and societal determinants of self-perceived job security in the older labour force. While there are considerable cross-country variations around a median value of 23% of workers aged 50 or older ranking their job security as poor, none of our suggested macro-level explanatory variables—employment rate, employment protection legislation, mean level of general social trust, and proportion disapproving of working beyond age 70—bears statistically significant associations with individuals’ job security. We find some indication, however, that the various societal factors considered here might contribute jointly to explaining the observed cross-national variation. Future research should aim at identifying statistically more powerful indicators of the supposed multilevel relationship between social context and older workers’ perceptions of job security. Moreover, supplementary findings indicate that further attention should be paid to the gender dimension of job insecurity.


Job security Ageing workforce Multilevel analysis SHARE 



This paper is based on data from Release 2.0.1 of SHARE 2004. The SHARE data collection has been primarily funded by the European Commission through the 5th framework program (project QLK6-CT-2001-00360 in the thematic program ‘Quality of Life’). Additional funding came from the U.S. National Institute on Aging (U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, Y1-AG-4553-01, and OGHA 04-064). Data collection in Austria (through the Austrian Science Fund, FWF), Belgium (through the Belgian Science Policy Office), and Switzerland (through BBW/OFES/UFES) was nationally funded. Further support by the European Commission through the 6th framework program (Project RII-CT-2006-062193, SHARE-I3) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.University of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany

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