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Perceived Job Insecurity and Health: The Michigan Recession and Recovery Study

January 2012

Sarah A. Burgard and Lucie Kalousova, University of Michigan and Kristin S. Seefeldt, Indiana University

Download '2012-05 NPC Working Paper.pdf'.


We examined the association between perceived job insecurity and health with the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study, a sample representing working-aged adults in Southeast Michigan in late 2009/early 2010. Employed respondents reported on perceived job insecurity (N = 442-443). We used logistic regression to compare the health of participants who perceived that they were very or fairly likely to lose their job or be laid off in the next 12 months and those who reported that job loss was not too likely or that they were planning to leave the labor force. Compared to secure workers, insecure workers were significantly more likely to meet criteria for major or minor depression (odds ratio [OR] = 7.27; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.12, 16.9) and to report a recent anxiety attack (OR = 3.52; CI = 1.47, 8.44), even after adjustment for their less advantaged sociodemographic characteristics, poorer prior health, and higher likelihood of recent unemployment. Mental health consequences of the Great Recession may extend to workers who perceive job insecurity, even if they have avoided unemployment.

Employment, Unemployment, and the Labor Market, Health, Health Insurance, and Health Care, Michigan Recession and Recovery Study (MRRS)