Chapter 5 – Health and Labour Market Disadvantage: Unemployment, Non-Employment, and Job
Implications for population health of early 21st century labour market conditions.
Helps overcome major problems in changes in labour market conditions and health impact.
More jobs require high levels of education.
Jobs available to low educated are considered “mac-jobs”.
o Areas in the fast food industry
Review evidence on relationship between unemployment and mental/physical health.
Health effects of flexible labour market policies.
H EALTH EFFECTS OF U NEMPLOYMENT
Higher prevalence of ill health, excess mortality and the unemployed.
Unemployed more likely to describe their health as generally fair or poor.
Those ill are more likely to loss their jobs
Indirect effects, such as, lower level of education.
o Less likely to be employed.
Essential to assess the possibility of consequence of selection.
Cross sectional association
Health does not necessarily decline during unemployment.
Direct health selection = asserts that poorer health increases risk of unemployment.
Ill health can lead to loss of job and inability for re-employment.
Direct selection = longitudinal data on unemployment and mortality.
o Could this be because the unemployed are already more likely to have life-threatening illness which precede their
High risk of unemployment may be linked to personality characteristics
Indirect selection = characteristics such as personality traits are confounders.
o Unemployment --------> Health
o Health -------> Unemployment
FACTOR X ------------> Poor Health
Lower living standards are not inevitable consequences of unemployment.
Health effects of unemployment directly link to financial problems.
Long-term unemployment with people who borrow money shows signs of high-risk depression.
Increasing financial pressures increase the growing inactivity and social isolation.
Present or anticipated financial strain strongest mediating factor in relation to unemployment and ill health in both men and
Unemployment as a Stressful Life Event
Highly stressful life event.
Employment has non-financial benefits to individuals
o Time structure to the day
o Self esteem
o Respect of others.
Benefits for work for mental health
o Physical activity
o Mental activity
o Use of skill
o Social status
o Interpersonal contact.
Stress may affect physical/psychological health
o Result in chronically increased levels of anxiety.
Health-Related Behaviour Context of long-term development of health behaviours.
o Attempted suicide
o High rates with unemployed men