Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Trends in the association of different forms of precarious employment and self-rated health in Germany. An analysis with the German Socio-Economic Panel between 1995 and 2015
  1. Timo-Kolja Pförtner,
  2. Holger Pfaff,
  3. Kira Isabel Hower
  1. Institute of Medical Sociology, Health Services Research, and Rehabilitation Science (IMVR), Faculty of Human Sciences and Faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Timo-Kolja Pförtner, Institute of Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science (IMVR), Faculty of Human Sciences and Faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; timo-kolja.pfoertner{at}


Background Precarious employment has increased in Germany by means of labour market flexibilisation throughout the 1990s and 2000s. In this study, trends in the association of self-rated health (SRH) with different dimensions of precarious employment by gender in Germany between 1995 and 2015 were assessed considering different periods of labour market reforms and the Great Recession.

Methods Analyses were conducted using the German Socio-Economic Panel from 1995 to 2015. All employed individuals aged 18–67 years and living in private households were considered for analysis to examine the risks of poor SRH by low wage, working poverty, non-standard working time arrangements and perceived job insecurity by gender. Predicted probabilities, adjusted risk ratio (ARR), adjusted risk difference (ARD) and trends were examined using pooled interval logistic regression with individual-clustered standard errors.

Results Relative and absolute differences in SRH rose significantly over time by perceived job insecurity for men, but not for women. Working poverty appeared to be significantly associated with SRH in the Great Recession and the post-Recession period for both gender. Non-standard working time arrangements were not significantly associated with SRH for both gender, and low wage appeared to be significantly associated with SRH only for men in the post-Recession period.

Conclusions The results highlighted the relevance of labour market reforms of deregulation and flexibilisation in Germany to differences in SRH by specific forms of precarious employment and gender differences in the impact of labour market reforms on precarious employment and health.

  • health inequalities
  • occupational health
  • policy
  • self-rated health
  • social epidemiology

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors T-KP planned and wrote the first version of the manuscript and did all the statistical analysis. KIH and HP critically revised the paper.

  • Funding This work was supported by the German Research Foundation in connection with the research project ‘Forms of precarious employment and subjective health’ in Germany (grant number PF 897/3-1).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available in a public, open access repository.