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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 470;

Does Unstable Employment Have an Association with Suicide Rates among the Young?

Department of Health Policy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada
Department of Public Health Science, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-172, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rory O′Connor and Gwendolyn Portzky
Received: 12 February 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
Full-Text   |   PDF [308 KB, uploaded 28 April 2017]


Although a growing body of literature has indicated that unemployment has a positive association with suicide, the dynamic aspects of unstable employment have not yet been considered in suicidology. This study explored the association between employment stability and completed suicide among people aged 25–34 years in 20 OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries with time-series data (1994–2010). In order to consider the different aspects of unstable employment, we tested the impacts of employment protection legislation indicators as another proxy of job insecurity (employed, but unstable) apart from unemployment rates. Covariates, including economic growth rates, GDP per capita, fertility rates, and divorce rate, were controlled for. The analysis was designed to be gender- and age-specific, where observations with ages of 25–29 were separated from those with ages of 30–34. Random effect models were applied to examine changes over time in suicide rates, and other models were presented to check robustness. The results showed that it is a low level of employment protection, rather than unemployment itself, that was associated with increased suicide rates among all of the studied populations. The magnitude of the effect differed by gender. View Full-Text
Keywords: suicide; unstable employment; cross-national study; EPL (employment protection legislation); unemployment suicide; unstable employment; cross-national study; EPL (employment protection legislation); unemployment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kim, C.; Cho, Y. Does Unstable Employment Have an Association with Suicide Rates among the Young? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 470.

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