Summary and Info
A multi-authored study of ways in which the changing labour market in Europe is affecting social welfare and the health of workers. Noting a number of alarming trends, including unprecedented rates of unemployment, the book responds to the need for a solid research framework that can support the development of government policies. Particular attention is given to research documenting the health consequences of job insecurity, which now affects a growing number of white-collar as well as blue-collar workers. The book contains nine contributions drawn from the fields of sociology, epidemiology, public health, and medicine. The first takes a broad look at the links between job insecurity, larger social trends, and adverse effects on health. Chapter two considers the recent growth of non-standard forms of work in Europe, including part-time work, fixed-term contracts, new forms of self-employment, and telework, often at home. Particular attention is given to the impact of non-standard forms of work on the wellbeing of workers and on existing systems of social welfare. Using the concept of, labour market citizenship chapter three examines the evolution of labour market trends in Finland over the last few decades. Specific health consequences of job insecurity are examined in chapter four, which draws on studies of workplace closure, workers undergoing early retirement, and job insecurity in the British civil service. Chapter five uses a cultural perspective to address the effects in the United States of several cases of highly publicized downsizing, mass layoffs, long-term unemployment, and downward mobility. Studies of sudden job loss in highly-educated workers are also assessed in order to draw conclusions about the impact of job insecurity.