Labor markets and employment insecurity: impacts of globalization on service and healthcare-sector workforces

Int J Occup Environ Health. 2004 Oct-Dec;10(4):368-74. doi: 10.1179/oeh.2004.10.4.368.


Global changes in the economies of most developed nations have impacted the way healthcare is organized, even within largely public systems, and the working conditions of healthcare workers. Since the acceleration of globalization in the 1970s, service-sector workers in developed nations have faced high unemployment, increased skill requirements for most jobs, and a rise in non-traditional work arrangements. These secular shifts in service-sector labor markets have occurred against the background of an erosion of the welfare state and growing income inequality. As well, many healthcare systems, including Canada's, were severely downsized and restructured in the 1990s, exacerbating the underlying negative secular trends in the service sector, and worsening the working conditions for many healthcare workers. Globalization has altered the labor market and shifted working conditions in ways that have been unfavorable to many healthcare workers.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Commerce*
  • Delivery of Health Care / history
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends*
  • Employment*
  • Health Workforce / trends*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Marketing of Health Services
  • Workload