English title: Whose health suffers most from job loss in recessions? Longitudinal analysis of vulnerable groups and protective factors in 27 European countries (2007-2009)

Author(s): Timothy Huijts - Stuckler -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2014

Abstract

Background Job losses rose sharply during the Great Recessions of 2007-2010, but it is not well-known which groups have suffered the most. Using longitudinal data from the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), we tested the effects on self-reported health of job loss by age and presence of a chronic illness as well as evaluated potential modifying factors. Methods Multi-level regression models were used to evaluate the effects of job loss on self-reported health using the longitudinal EU-SILC. We constructed a baseline of employed persons (n = 72 801) in year 2007 and country-level data on levels of social capital and unemployment benefits were taken from Eurostat and the European Social Survey, respectively. Results The association of job loss with poor self-reported health was significantly stronger in people aged 30-49 (B = 0.16, p < 0.001), compared with people aged 18-29 (B = 0.06, p < 0.001) and people aged 50-65 (B = 0.12, p < 0.001). There was no differential effect observed in persons with or without chronic illnesses. We observed that higher population levels of social capital attenuated the association of job loss with self-reported health for people aged 30-49 (B = -0.09, p < 0.01) and people with chronic illness (B = -0.13, p < 0.05). Unemployment benefits particularly appeared to mitigate harmful effects in younger persons aged 18-29 (B = -0.01, p < 0.01) and people with chronic illness (B = -0.02, p < 0.01). Conclusions Job losses significantly worsened self-reported health during the Great Recession, especially in middle-age groups. These impacts were mitigated where social capital and unemployment benefits were high. Key messages Job losses significantly worsened self-reported health during the Great Recession, especially in middle-age groups. These impacts were mitigated where social capital and unemployment benefits were high.

Conference name: 7th European Public Health Conference: ‘Mind the gap: Reducing inequalities in health and health care’

Location: Glasgow

Start date: Nov 19, 2014

Type: Paper