We estimate the effects of job insecurity on older workers’ health outcomes using downsizing episodes and state-industry level changes in employment. We provide evidence that job insecurity, as measured by the self-reported probability of job loss, increases stress at work and the risk of clinical depression and lowers self-reported health status. We interpret our findings as evidence that job insecurity which is outside the control of workers may have large effects on mental health. These findings suggest that employers ought to consider actions to offset the detrimental health effects of reducing personnel on their remaining (older) workers, and pay attention to the stress that industry level changes in economic conditions may induce among workers.
Whistle While You Work: Job Insecurity and Older Workers’ Mental Health in the United States
Italo A. Gutierrez