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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


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

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