The effects of unemployment and perceived job insecurity: a comparison of their association with psychological and somatic complaints, self-rated health and life satisfaction
De Witte, Hans
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Purpose: Research has provided convincing evidence for the adverse effects of both short- and long-term unemployment, and perceived job insecurity on individuals' health and well-being. This study aims to go one critical step further by comparing the association between short- and long-term unemployment, and perceived job insecurity with a diverse set of health and well-being indicators. Methods: We compare four groups: (1) secure permanent employees (N = 2257), (2) insecure permanent employees (N = 713), (3) short-term unemployed (N = 662), and (4) long-term unemployed (N = 345) using cross-sectional data from the nationally representative Living Conditions Survey in Finland. Results: Covariance analyses adjusted for background variables support findings from earlier studies that long-term unemployment and perceived job insecurity are detrimental: short-term unemployed and secure permanent employees experienced fewer psychological complaints and lower subjective complaints load, reported a higher self-rated health, and were more satisfied with their life compared to long-term unemployed and insecure permanent employees. Second, whereas unemployment was found to be more detrimental than insecure employment in terms of life satisfaction, insecure employment was found to be more detrimental than unemployment in terms of psychological complaints. No differences were found regarding subjective complaints load and self-rated health. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that (1) insecure employment relates to more psychological complaints than short-term unemployment and secure permanent employment, (2) insecure employment and long-term unemployment relate to more subjective complaints load and poorer health when compared to secure permanent employment, and (3) insecure employment relates to higher life satisfaction than both short- and long-term unemployment.
- Faculty of Humanities