Association of Job Insecurity with Health Risk Factors and Poorer Health in American Workers
- 548 Downloads
Perceived job insecurity and health risk factors have not been well studied in the United States (US) workforce. The purpose of this study was to assess the association of specific health risk factors and morbidities with perceived job insecurity in a large national random sample of working adults in the US. The National Health Interview Survey data were analyzed for this study. We computed the prevalence of perceived job insecurity by demographic characteristics and tested the relative association between perceived job insecurity and selected health risk factors using logistic regression analysis with adjusted odds ratios (AORs). A total of 17,441 working adults were included in the study: 75 % Whites, 51.5 % females, 73.3 % worked for a private company, and 82.6 % were 25–64 years of age. One in three (33 %) workers perceived their job to be insecure. Those who reported job insecurity had significantly higher odds of: being obese, sleeping less than 6 h/day, smoking every day, having work loss days >2 weeks, and worsening of general health in the past year. Job insecure individuals had a likelihood of serious mental illness within the past 30 days almost five times higher than those who were not job insecure. In addition, job insecure individuals were significantly more likely to report pain conditions (i.e. headaches, neck pain, and low back pain), and lifetime histories of having ulcers, diabetes, hypertension, angina pectoris, and coronary heart diseases. Job insecurity is associated with poor health and health risk behaviors in American adults. Potential interventions to address job insecurity and improve the health and well-being of working adults have been discussed based on study findings.
KeywordsJob insecurity Health behavior Stress Chronic disease Health risk factors Occupational health Occupational psychology
Authors thank the National Center for Health Statistics for providing the data.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors have no conflicts of interests to declare.
- 1.Hacker, J. S. (2006). The great risk shift: The new economic insecurity and the decline of the American dream. Oxford university press.Google Scholar
- 2.Kwon, H., & Pontusson, J. (2006). Globalization, union decline and the politics of social spending growth in OECD countries, 1962–2000. Yale University.Google Scholar
- 3.De Witte, H. (2005). Job insecurity: Review of the international literature on definitions, prevalence, antecedents and consequences. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 31(4).Google Scholar
- 9.Ferrie, J. E., Shipley, M. J., Stansfeld, S. A., & Marmot, M. G. (2002). Effects of chronic job insecurity and change in job security on self-reported health, minor psychiatric morbidity, physiological measures, and health related behaviours in British civil servants: The Whitehall II study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community health, 56(6), 450–454.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 19.Virtanen, M., Nyberg, S. T., Batty, G. D., Jokela, M., Heikkilä, K., Fransson, E. I., & Casini, A. (2013). Perceived job insecurity as a risk factor for incident coronary heart disease. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, 347(1), f4746.Google Scholar
- 20.Alterman, T., Luckhaupt, S. E., Dahlhamer, J. M., Ward, B. W., & Calvert, G. M. (2013). Job insecurity, work-family imbalance, and hostile work environment: Prevalence data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 56(6), 660–669.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 22.Jamal, A., Agaku, I. T., O’Connor, E., King, B. A., Kenemer, J. B., & Neff, L. (2014). Current cigarette smoking among adults—United States, 2005–2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, 63(47), 1108–1112.Google Scholar
- 24.Grant, B. F., Goldstein, R. B., Saha, T. D., Chou, S. P., Jung, J., Zhang, H., & Hasin, D. S. (2015). Epidemiology of DSM-5 alcohol use disorder: Results from the National epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions III. JAMA Psychiatry, 72(8), 757–766.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 25.Schiller, J. S., Lucas, J. W., Ward, B. W., & Peregoy, J. A. (2012). Summary health statistics for US Adults: National health interview survey, 2010. Vital and Health Statistics. Series 10, Data from The National Health Survey, (252), 1–207.Google Scholar
- 29.American Psychological Association. (2015). Stress in America-Paying with our health. Retrieved May 12, 2016, from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2014/stress-report.pdf.
- 35.Watkins, C., Lartey, G., Golla, V., & Khubchandani, J. (2008). Worker’s perception: Environmental factors influencing obesity at the workplace. American Journal of Health Studies, 23(2), 74–80.Google Scholar
- 36.Khubchandani, J., Nagy, M. C., Watkins, C. M., & Nagy, S. (2008). A Preliminary survey of university employee’s perceptions of work related stress: Association with diet and exercise on campus. American Journal of Health Studies, 24(2), 306–313.Google Scholar
- 37.Health Advocate. 2009. Stress in the workplace: Meeting the challenge. Retrieved April 27, 2016, from http://healthadvocate.com/downloads/webinars/stress-workplace.pdf.