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Scand J Work Environ Health ; 47(7): 509-520, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359380


OBJECTIVE: High-quality longitudinal evidence exploring the mental health risk associated with low-quality employment trajectories is scarce. We therefore aimed to investigate the risk of being diagnosed with common mental disorders, substance use disorders, or suicide attempt according to low-quality employment trajectories. METHODS: A longitudinal register-study based on the working population of Sweden (N=2 743 764). Employment trajectories (2005-2009) characterized by employment quality and pattern (constancy, fluctuation, mobility) were created. Hazard ratios (HR) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression models for first incidence (2010-2017) diagnosis of common mental disorders, substance use disorders and suicide attempt as dependent on employment trajectories. RESULTS: We identified 21 employment trajectories, 10 of which were low quality (21%). With the exception of constant solo self-employment, there was an increased risk of common mental disorders (HR 1.07-1.62) and substance use disorders (HR 1.05-2.19) for all low-quality trajectories. Constant solo self-employment increased the risk for substance use disorders among women, while it reduced the risk of both disorders for men. Half of the low-quality trajectories were associated with a risk increase of suicide attempt (HR 1.08-1.76). CONCLUSIONS: Low-quality employment trajectories represent risk factors for mental disorders and suicide attempt in Sweden, and there might be differential effects according to sex - especially in terms of self-employment. Policies ensuring and maintaining high-quality employment characteristics over time are imperative. Similar prospective studies are needed, also in other contexts, which cover the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the mechanisms linking employment trajectories with mental health.

Employment/statistics & numerical data , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders , Suicide, Attempted/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Incidence , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Mental Disorders/complications , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , Sex Factors , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/etiology , Sweden/epidemiology
Int J Health Serv ; 51(2): 226-228, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067025


The world of work is facing an ongoing pandemic and an economic downturn with severe effects worldwide. Workers trapped in precarious employment (PE), both formal and informal, are among those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we call attention to at least 5 critical ways that the consequences of the crisis among workers in PE will be felt globally: (a) PE will increase, (b) workers in PE will become more precarious, (c) workers in PE will face unemployment without being officially laid off, (d) workers in PE will be exposed to serious stressors and dramatic life changes that may lead to a rise in diseases of despair, and (e) PE might be a factor in deterring the control of or in generating new COVID-19 outbreaks. We conclude that what we really need is a new social contract, where the work of all workers is recognized and protected with adequate job contracts, employment security, and social protection in a new economy, both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

COVID-19 , Employment , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , United States