Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Job insecurity: destroying us from the inside out

Every so often something that you've long suspected is proven by a piece of research. So it is today with the publication of a study in Cambridge showing the damaging impact of the threat of unemployment on male mental health. We ought to be pleased that we have the evidence to back the hunch but nobody can be happy at evidence demonstrating just how badly wrong we have got things in our society.

According to the study, men are affected by job insecurity - the threat of losing your job - far more than women. This may be because men define themselves in terms of their work far more than women do. The trouble is that all jobs are becoming increasingly insecure. Outsourcing, temporary contracts, freelancing. Nobody gets a job and is set up for life anymore (unless you're Fred Goodwin but I won't get into that again). Yet clearly, psychologically, security is what we need.

In the past to criticise job insecurity was seen as a political position, considered unhelpful by governments who saw job security as a barrier to prosperity. Today's research shows that this is not a political issue but a health one. Not only does this way of working not create wealth, it is destroying us from the inside out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do also think that job insecurity has such an effect because it is still the case that men are the main earner for their family. It is rather annoying to see comments about "macho attitudes". However old fashioned it may seem the majority of partnered men are the main earner. This must put added pressure on if they fear they may lose their job.