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Job security
Job security, or confidence in the continued existence of a job or hours of work, has a significant impact on health

Key stats

10.6%
of the labour force are in insecure work. The number of people reporting zero-hours contracts grew between 2014 and 2023.
41%
is how much the number of zero-hour contracts grew between 2014 and 2023.
23%
of 16–19 year olds are in involuntary insecure employment, compared to less than 10% of 25–54 year olds.

Job security, or confidence in the continued existence of a job or hours of work, is considered another cause of stress with a significant impact on health. Broader definitions include being concerned about the loss of particular job functions and individuals’ capacity to resist changes. The psychological challenges posed by uncertainty have been categorised as unpredictability (lack of clarity on how to respond) and uncontrollability (powerlessness towards the threat). The latter is considered a key part of how insecure work can affect physical and mental health.

The charts in this section explore the relationship between job security and health, as well as trends and inequalities in job security.

Trends and inequalities in job security

Explore other subtopics within Work
Job quality
Not all work helps to protect people's health. Some evidence shows that poor-quality employment is as bad for health as unemployment.
Employment and unemployment
Unemployment has consistently been found to have a negative impact on health in a variety of ways.

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Health inequalities

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Affordability | Quality | Stability | Security

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Active travel | Social exclusion | Trends

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This is part of Evidence hub: What drives health inequalities?

Data, insights and analysis exploring how the circumstances in which we live shape our health
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