Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unemployed Americans face greater risk of mortality

28.06.2012
Employment policy is also health policy according to a University of British Columbia study that found that workers experienced higher mortality rates if they didn't have access to social protections like employment insurance and unemployment benefits.

Researchers with the Human Early Learning Partnership and the School of Population and Public Health at UBC found that low and medium-skilled workers in the United States are at a greater risk of death if they lose their job than their German counterparts, who have access to more robust employment protections and insurance.

"Employment insurance makes a difference to the health of the most vulnerable populations, low-wage and poorly educated workers," said Chris McLeod, the lead researcher on the paper and a post-doctoral fellow with the Human Early Learning Partnership. "For low-wage and poorly educated workers, it's not just about losing your job but losing your job and being at the bottom of the labour market."

The study, published online earlier this month in the American Journal of Public Health, compared mortality rates of unemployed minimum, medium and high-skilled workers in Germany and the United States of America between 1984 and 2005. While researchers found an increased risk of dying for all unemployed workers, the relative risk was higher for U.S. workers in almost all situations. Unemployed minimum and medium skilled Americans were about seven and 3.5 times more likely to die than employed high skilled Americans or Germans.

The U.S. and Germany are the world's two most successful economies but differ significantly in their employment policies. Germany, a coordinated market economy, has high levels of both employment protection – restrictions on terminating employees – and unemployment protection – availability of unemployment benefits. The United States, a liberal market economy, has low levels of employment and unemployment protection. The study found that 75 per cent of unemployed German workers received unemployment compensation compared to only 19 per cent of U.S. workers.

Canada was not included in the study but has a liberal market economy similar to the U.S. The Canadian government is currently implementing reforms to the country's employment insurance system, which may reduce benefits to low-income and low-skill workers.

"It is important that we recognize how changes to employment and unemployment protections could inadvertently affect the health of the most vulnerable populations," said McLeod.

In a second study, published earlier this year in the Annual Review of Public Health, the researchers, along with Harvard University professor Peter Hall, looked at the policies that could help mediate health inequalities among workers.

The researchers found that broader employment and social policies that included training and education opportunities, employment security, access to housing and welfare, and benefits to low-income families were important social protections.

"The wear and tear of daily life is important to everyone's health," said Hall. "As these findings show, social policy matters not only to people's well-being but to the very length of their lives."

LINKS: American Journal of Public Health study: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300475

Annual Review of Public Health study: http://bit.ly/Mwbt4w

UBC Public Affairs media release: http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/?p=52729

CONTACT

Chris McLeod
School of Population and Public Health
Tel: 604.822.0348
Cell: 604.618.0113
Email: cmcleod@chspr.ubc.ca
Heather Amos
UBC Public Affairs
Cell: 604.828.3867
Email: heather.amos@ubc.ca

Heather Amos | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>