Health inequalities in the workforce: the labour market core-periphery structure

Int J Epidemiol. 2003 Dec;32(6):1015-21. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyg319.


Objectives: To explore health inequalities between six labour market groups ranging from permanent employees to the long-term unemployed receiving minimum daily allowance.

Methods: A sample of 15 468 employees or job seekers from a population survey. Their perceived health, diseases, and depression were measured.

Results: Compared with permanent employees, the odds for poor health were highest among the unemployed with low incomes irrespective of adjustments, across all health indicators and in both men and women. High odds were also found among the less disadvantaged unemployed and the employed with atypical contracts, but not among fixed-term employees.

Conclusions: Rather than between the employed and the unemployed, it seems that health inequalities prevail across different labour market groups within the employed and the unemployed. Future studies should employ a more detailed classification of employment situation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Employment / psychology
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Unemployment / psychology
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data