Self-Rated Health of the Temporary Employees in a Nordic Welfare State: Findings From the Finnish Public Sector Study

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Objective:This 9-year follow-up study explores a possible association between temporary employment and declining health.Methods:Years in temporary employment from 2004 to 2008 to 2009 were measured for a cohort of 26,886 public sector employees. Self-rated health was measured by surveys in 2004 (baseline), 2008/2009 (short-term follow-up), and 2012/2013 (long-term follow-up).Results:Compared with the permanently employed, the baseline health-adjusted odds of poor health were lower both in the short-term and long-term follow-up, but the differences became nonsignificant when adjusted for sociodemographic and work-related factors.Conclusion:The results would suggest that temporary employment in public sector of a Nordic welfare state does not entail health risks. Future research is needed to elucidate if this is true also among those exposed to nonpermanent employment in the private labor market, in particular those with most atypical jobs and unstable job careers.

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