The Impact of Job Insecurity on Well-being
It has been argued that since the last economical downturn coupled with a shift to more flexible working conditions over the last few decades that job insecurity has risen.
As most people rely on a stable income job insecurity poses a significant risk to peoples well-being.
job insecurity can be understood as “the perceived powerlessness to maintain the desired continuity in a threatened job situation”
A study recently published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology aimed to investigate the association between job insecurity and employee well-being. (Richter et al., 2014)
The study focused on how financial dependency as well as other factors would influence the relationship of job security and well-being.
The study considered 553 employees and asked questions about job insecurity, job dependance and well-being.
The team behind the research found that job dependance played an important role:
both quantitative and qualitative job insecurity were found to be negatively related to job satisfaction and mental well-being
That is to say that people subject to the threat of job loss or diminished working conditions are prone to reduced job satisfaction and mental well-being.
Some types of job insecurity has been linked to poor health outcomes and increased health complaints.
While the study was not able to confirm its other hypothesis linking financial job dependance and how important part of a person’s life work is to job insecurity, it warns taking results in a cultural context.
The Swedish social security system is characterized by a high degree of protection for those in vulnerable positions, and perhaps the knowledge that one will be able to obtain a sufficient amount of unemployment benefits to cover necessary expenses affects how job dependence interacts with threats of job loss.
In cultures that place less importance of the social welfare system the same study may find very different results.