Long-term effects of a factory closure: unemployment and disability during ten years' follow-up

J Clin Epidemiol. 1989;42(5):435-41. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(89)90133-9.


The consequences of a factory closure on future employment, disability and death were investigated in a 10-year prospective follow-up study in a general practice setting. The study population consisted of 85 persons who lost their jobs when a brisling sardine factory close to Bergen in Norway was shut down in 1975. The employees of a nearby "sister factory" within the same company were chosen as a control population, consisting of 87 persons. After the factory closure, the annual employment rate of the study group showed a steady rise to a maximum level of 44% within 6 years, but even after 10 years never matched the employment rate of the controls. The cumulative rates of disability pension, granted for medical conditions only, was more than three times higher in the study group than among controls from the second through the fourth year of follow-up. This excess of disabilities then stayed relatively constant at approximately 17 per 100 persons from 5 to 10 years after the shut-down. Given present days' unemployment, the results of this investigation point to the importance of acknowledging a long-term effect of job-loss on health and social readjustment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Norway
  • Pensions
  • Unemployment*