Means and standard deviations or percentages of dependent and independent variables are presented in , separately for ACL and MIDUS respondents. Variables measured differently across samples are presented on separate rows.
shows that average self-rated health at Wave 2 is similar for ACL and MIDUS respondents at 3.6 to 3.8, reflecting scores close to “very good.” Average levels of depressive symptoms/negative affect fall in the lower end of the possible ranges for both ACL respondents (mean: 1.3, range: 1.0 – 2.8) and MIDUS respondents (mean: 1.5, range: 1.0–5.0). About 18 percent of ACL respondents perceived job insecurity in 1986 and 15 percent perceived insecurity in 1989, compared with about 16 percent of MIDUS respondents in 1995 and 13 percent in 2005. While about three-quarters of each sample did not perceive job insecurity, about 13 percent reported it in Wave 1 only, about 7–8 percent in Wave 2 only, and 3–5 percent in both waves. Episodic and persistence measures are presented for all respondents working at Wave 1 (though some have left paid work by Wave 2 and thus are ineligible to report perceived insecurity at Wave 2 only, or in both Waves 1 and 2). In a more restricted sample working at both waves (not shown), the distributions were similar, with 11–12 percent insecure in Wave 1 only, 9–10 percent insecure in Wave 2 only, and 4–6 percent insecure at both waves. About 9 percent of ACL respondents lost a job involuntarily between 1983 and 1986, while about 8 percent did between 1986 and 1989. About 6 percent of MIDUS respondents experienced at least one week of unemployment in 1994, and about 5 percent did in 2004. The two samples show many similarities in the other sociodemographic characteristics, though there are more smokers and a greater share of men in the ACL sample, and a larger fraction of MIDUS respondents left paid work over the longer follow up.
and present bivariate comparisons of episodic and persistent perceived job insecurity by key sociodemographic characteristics and objective employment experiences, with chi-square tests used to assess the significance of differences. shows that among ACL respondents, Blacks report significantly more insecurity than non-Blacks (p < .05), those with high school or less education report significantly more job insecurity than those with more education (p <.01), and those with a job loss in the three years before baseline (p < .001) or over follow-up (p < .001) report considerably more perceived insecurity than those who did not experience a job loss.
Episodic and Persistent Perceived Job Insecurity by Sociodemographic Characteristics, ACL Respondents.
Episodic and Persistent Perceived Job Insecurity by Sociodemographic Characteristics, MIDUS Respondents.
presents the same comparisons for MIDUS respondents; the only significant differences are between those with unemployment experience in 1994 (p < .001) or in 2004 (p < .001) and those without any unemployment experience. Both figures show that the largest variation in perceived job insecurity is associated with objective employment insecurity experiences, suggesting that people are responding realistically to their experiences in the labor market.
(ACL) and (MIDUS) present results from OLS regression models of self-rated health and depressive symptoms/negative affect, displaying unstandardized coefficients with robust standard errors in parentheses. Results show that with only basic controls for sex, age, race, and employment status at follow-up in Models 1 and 4, ACL and MIDUS respondents who perceived job insecurity only at Wave 1 have significantly worse depressive symptoms/negative affect at Wave 2 than those who never perceived job insecurity, although the association is only marginally significant (p < .10) among MIDUS respondents. ACL respondents who perceived insecurity only at Wave 1 have significantly poorer self-rated health. Respondents who reported insecurity only at Wave 2 have significantly poorer self-rated health and negative affect at Wave 2 in the MIDUS sample. For ACL and MIDUS respondents alike, however, Models 1 and 4 in and show that persistent exposure to perceived job insecurity is associated with substantively and statistically significantly worse self-rated health and depressive symptoms/negative affect.
Unstandardized Coefficients (and Standard Errors) from OLS Regressions of Self-Rated Health and Depressive Symptoms at Wave 2, ACL Respondents
Unstandardized Coefficients (and Standard Errors) from OLS Regressions of Self-Rated Health and Negative Affect at Wave 2, MIDUS Respondents
Adding controls for sociodemographic and job characteristics, health prior to wave one, hypertension and smoking status, neuroticism, and objective employment insecurity before Wave 1 (Models 2 and 5) and objective employment insecurity over follow-up (Models 3 and 6) eliminates the association between perceived job insecurity at Wave 1 and health at Wave 2. Negative effects of perceived insecurity do not appear to persist after insecure working conditions, or an individual’s appraisal of them, change for the better, and after we adjust for factors that may select workers into an insecure job at Wave 1. The additional controls also reduce the association between insecurity at Wave 2 and health at Wave 2 among MIDUS respondents, leaving it only marginally significant in models of negative affect and no longer significant for self-rated health. However, respondents who perceived job insecurity at Waves 1 and 2 have significantly worse self-rated health at follow-up in both samples, and significantly more depressive symptoms among ACL respondents. The association between persistent insecurity and negative affect is no longer significant for MIDUS respondents, likely due to the small number of respondents in this exposure category (N = 35). When we reclassified MIDUS respondents with less than an “excellent” chance to stay in their job as insecure (resulting in 14 percent of respondents persistently insecure instead of the 3 percent reported on here), we found that respondents who were persistently insecure showed significantly worse negative affect (results not shown). By contrast, recoding similarly for ACL resulted in a much larger 30 percent of respondents being classified as persistently insecure, and reduced the magnitude of the association with both outcome measures, rendering the association with depressive symptoms non-significant.
To assess the sensitivity of our findings to the specifications used here, we re-estimated models using only respondents working at both waves, using those who were healthiest at wave one, and including unemployed respondents in the exposed category (models not shown). None of these alternative specifications substantially changed the results reported here, except in some cases making them stronger. We also included measures of stress from other social roles in models not shown here, but our results were unchanged. Finally, we explored interactions between perceived job insecurity and several socio-demographic characteristics of workers, but did not find strong or consistent evidence for socially-patterned differentials in the health consequences of perceived job insecurity.