A recent study has issued a warning about the heightened risk of early death associated with precarious or insecure employment conditions. It emphasizes that individuals without stable employment can reduce their chances of premature death by up to 20% by securing permanent employment.
Precarious employment refers to job arrangements characterized by short contracts, low wages, and a lack of influence and rights. These conditions contribute to a working life marked by unpredictability and insecurity.
The research, conducted by the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and published in The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Reports, underscores the need for improvement in job security. Theo Bodin, an assistant professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, noted, “This study is the first to demonstrate that transitioning from precarious employment to stable employment can decrease the risk of death. In other words, persisting in jobs lacking secure employment contracts increases the risk of early death.”
The study drew on registry data encompassing over 250,000 workers in Sweden aged 20 to 55, collected between 2005 and 2017. It included individuals who initially worked in insecure conditions and then transitioned to secure employment.
Shift from precarious job lowers risk of death by 20 per cent
The findings revealed that those who made the shift from precarious to secure employment experienced a 20% lower risk of death, regardless of subsequent developments, compared to those who remained in precarious roles. Furthermore, if individuals remained in secure employment for 12 years, their risk of death decreased by 30%.
Nuria Matilla-Santander, the study’s first author and an assistant professor, emphasized the significance of the results, stating, “Utilizing this extensive population database enabled us to account for numerous factors that could impact mortality, including age, other health conditions, or life changes such as divorce.”
The authors of the study highlight the importance of these findings as they suggest that the elevated mortality rate observed among workers can be mitigated.