Workers are insecure about their jobs were four times more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression and rate their health to be poorer than those who are secure in their jobs, according to a new study.
Sarah A. Burgard and her colleagues from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, analyzed data on about 440 working-aged adults living in southeast Michigan in 2009-10.
The analysis was part of a larger study to assess the impact of the recent economic recession and ongoing recovery on the lives of workers in the Detroit area, which was hit particularly hard by the "Great Recession".
Nearly 18 percent of workers perceived their job was insecure - they felt it was at least "fairly likely" that they would lose their job or be laid off within the next year.
Workers with job insecurity rated their health lower than workers who perceived their jobs as more secure.
The participants with secure jobs were nearly three times more likely to rate their health as fair to poor.
Workers with job insecurity were nearly four times more likely to report symptoms of anxiety attacks and close to seven times more likely to have symptoms suggesting minor or major depression.
These effects were significant after adjustment for other characteristics.
"The study provides some of the first available evidence on the extent and distribution of perceived job insecurity and its association with health in the wake of the Great Recession," the researchers wrote.
The study has been published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.