Skip to main content


Employment insecurity; Job insecurity; Job stability


Job security is typically defined as an employee’s perception that their job, or an important feature of their job, is secure. In most research this is measured through employee’s own perceptions, referred to as subjective job security, although there are examples in the literature to measure “objective” job security through redundancy rates, industry contraction rates, or by identifying employees in organizations where downsizing or closure programs have been announced. Measures of job security are available in many large international surveys and usually ask about the likelihood of job loss in a reference time period (say, the next 6 months or 1 year) or ask to what extent respondents are concerned about or worry about losing their job; these are referred to as cognitive and affective measures, respectively.

Guy Standing has suggested a typology of insecurity. He distinguishes between the following types of...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 6,499.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD 9,499.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


  • Burchell, B. J. (2005). The welfare costs of job insecurity: Psychological wellbeing and family life. Trends in social cohesion special issue: Reconciling labour flexibility with social cohesion – Facing the challenge. Trends in Social Cohesion, 15, 71–108.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burchell, B. J. (2009). Flexicurity as a moderator of the relationship between job insecurity and psychological well-being. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 2(3), 365–378.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burchell, B. J. (2011). A temporal comparison of the effects of unemployment and job insecurity on wellbeing. Sociological Research Online 16. Retrieved September 28, 2011 (

  • Burchell, B. J., Ladipo, D., & Wilkinson, F. (Eds.). (2002). Job insecurity and work intensification. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cheng, G. H.-L., & Chan, D. K.-S. (2008). Who suffers more from job insecurity? A meta-analytic review. Applied Psychology, 57(2), 272–303.

    Google Scholar 

  • De Witte, H. (2005). Job insecurity: Review of the international literature on definitions, prevalence, antecedents and consequences. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 31(4), 1–6.

    Google Scholar 

  • 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, 450–454.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fevre, R. (2007). Employment insecurity and social theory: The power of nightmares. Work, Employment and Society, 21(3), 517–535.

    Google Scholar 

  • Green, F. (2009). Subjective employment insecurity around the world. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 2, 343–363.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nolan, J. (2002). The intensification of everyday life. In B. Burchell & D. Ladipo (Eds.), Job insecurity and work intensification. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sverke, M., Hellgren, J., & Näswall, K. (2002). No security: A meta-analysis and review of job insecurity and its consequences. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7, 242–264.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Brendan Burchell .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

About this entry

Cite this entry

Burchell, B. (2014). Job Security. In: Michalos, A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-94-007-0752-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-007-0753-5

  • eBook Packages: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

Publish with us

Policies and ethics