Associations between combinations of job demands and job control among 6,16,818 people aged 55-64 in paid work with their labour market status 11 years later: a prospective cohort study

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2022 Jan;95(1):169-185. doi: 10.1007/s00420-021-01717-8. Epub 2021 Jun 7.


Background: Given current discussions about extending working lives, more knowledge is needed on working conditions associated with labour market status in older age.

Objective: To explore associations between combinations of job demands and job control among workers aged 55-64 years and their labour market status 11 years later.

Methods: A population-based prospective cohort study using nationwide register data. The 616,818 individuals in Sweden aged 55-64 who in 2001 were in paid work were categorised using a job exposure matrix based on tertiles (reference = medium control/medium demands). Participants were followed up in 2012 regarding their main labour market status (paid work, old-age pension, no income/social assistance, sickness absence/disability pension, emigrated, dead; reference = old-age pension) using multinomial logistic regression for odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). The fully adjusted analyses included adjustment for sociodemographic factors and unemployment or sickness absence/disability pension for more than half the year in 2001.

Results: Those in occupations with low job control at baseline were less likely to be in paid work at follow-up (OR low demands/low control 0.74, CI 0.71-0.78; high demands/low control 0.81, CI 0.75-0.87). Those in occupations with baseline high demands were less likely to have no income/social assistance at follow-up (OR high demands/low control 0.71, CI 0.52-0.96; high demands/high control 0.59, CI 0.47-0.75).

Conclusion: Job demands and control when aged 55-64 were associated with labour market status 11 years later: high control was associated with greater chance of being in paid work, and high demands were associated with lower risk of no income/social assistance.

Keywords: Extending working lives; Job control; Job demands; Psychosocial working environment.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations*
  • Pensions*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Leave