Health effects of job insecurity among employees in the Swiss general population

Int J Health Serv. 2000;30(3):477-90. doi: 10.2190/B1KM-VGN7-50GF-8XJ4.


This study looks at the health consequences of the social distress caused by perceived levels of job insecurity. Through interviews with full- and part-time employees drawn from a random sample (N = 2,024) of the Swiss general population, the authors measured prevalence rates of ten self-reported indicators of health and health-related behavior according to three levels of perceived job insecurity (low, middle, high), and estimated odds ratios using logistic regression adjusted for relevant respondent characteristics. The results show that the psychosocial stress induced by job insecurity (fear of unemployment) has a negative effect on these health indicators. Fear of unemployment had a stronger unfavorable effect on health for highly educated employees than for the less educated. The authors make some recommendations for raising awareness about the health effects of job insecurity and taking these effects into account in policies and legislation affecting the labor market and work environment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Educational Status
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personnel Downsizing / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Private Sector
  • Public Sector
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Switzerland / epidemiology