Has Work Become More Insecure And Unequal?


HasWork Become More Insecure And Unequal?

Jobinsecurity describes a condition, whereby workers lack the assurancethat their employments will remain stable throughout day to day, oryear to year. It can be defined as the worker’s perceivedpowerlessness of maintaining desired permanence in a threatened jobcircumstance (Clark &amp Fabien, 2008). The powerlessness indicatesthat the employees do not have the capacity of changing thesituation. It is the job insecurity that makes individuals becomeunemployed partially or wholly, when they attempt to search for moresecure jobs. For instance, where there is no job security, a personmay become employed and lose his or her job within a month or afterseveral months, which may make a person to become unemployed whilesearching for another job. On the other hand, inequality is thecondition where individuals receive different treatments in the jobsmarket for instance, there may be compensation inequality wheremales may be paid higher remuneration compared to women. Besides,there may be inequality in jobs, where a certain group of individualstend to receive a higher salary package while another group receivesa low salary package. Job inequality is a form of discriminationpromoted and permitted to persist by the authority of the workplace(Clark &amp Fabien, 2008). Employment inequalities are usually basedon race, social class, and gender. These two phenomena can beexplained theoretically through creating hypothetical constructs. Forinstance, hypothetical individuals employed in a seasonal hotel todepict job insecurity.

Inequalityand insecurity affects different social groups differently. In mostcases, it has been found that job insecurity is more prevalent amongemployees in the lower social economic positions and amid women.Besides, evidence also suggests that racial and ethnic minorityemployees, immigrants, and younger employees are also exposed toimmense job insecurity. Although there are different social groupsaffected by job insecurity, they become affected by job insecurity inalmost the same way. One of the effects of job insecurity on thesesocial groups is that it may cause stress. Individuals that perceivethat they have job insecurity tend to think more on what they will doupon losing their employment. Besides, these social groups tend tofocus on the effects of losing their jobs for instance, for singlewomen that perceive that they have job insecurity, usually havestress because they count themselves helpless upon losing their jobs.Therefore, job insecurity usually has an effect on the mental healthof the above mentioned social groups. Another effect of jobinsecurity is that employees tend to underperform. Employees tend toperform in a better manner, when there is a motivating factorhowever, when they are in stress, they underperform (Perrewe&amp Ganster, 2010). Since employees already have stress because ofthe perceived powerlessness of maintaining desired permanence in athreatened job circumstance, they underperform. Inequality has animpact of making these social groups poor or even adds more povertyto the poverty that they already have.

Workhas become more insecure in Canada among different groups. One of thegroups that feel to be more insecure is that comprising the lesseducated. Although the most educated workers feel more secureconcerning their present and future job prospects, the less educatedare increasingly feeling insecure in their present jobs and stillfeel insecure on their future jobs for instance, those with highschool education feel more insecure for future jobs (Krahnet al, 2011). Job characteristic is also a critical aspect indetermining job security in the Canadian job market full-timeemployees and white collar workers feel slightly more secure on theirjobs. On the other hand, union workers have slightly high jobinsecurity. Inequality in work is also a concern in Canada (Sverke,2004). However, women have presently have started leaving homes andentering into the job market, a move that is decreasing theinequality in the number of women employed compared to men (Krahnet al, 2011). Inequality exists because women are usuallyconcentrated in a limited range of jobs that are labeled as womenjobs, while men engage in the most rewarding and challenging jobsthat are defined as male jobs.

Thereare different causes of inequality in the labor market. One of thecauses of the inequality in the labor market is education. Peoplehave different levels of education, which make them attract differentemployability. For example, individuals in that are highly educatedend up occupying highly paying jobs, while individuals that have loweducation end up being hired to occupy the low paying jobs.Therefore, education ends up creating inequalities in the labormarket since there is an employability gap between the highlyeducated individuals and the less educated or the uneducated. Anotherfactor that leads to inequalities in the labor market entails thenature of work. Nature of work brings about inequalities in the labormarket because not all individuals can be in a position to handle alltypes of jobs. For instance, when it comes to mechanical jobs, malescan do better in such jobs compared to women. Therefore, more men areemployed in these jobs, a move that causes inequality in the labormarket. Besides, other jobs are usually labeled as feminine ormasculine. This makes individuals of different genders not seek jobsthat they feel belong to the opposite gender this creates inequalityin the labor market. In addition, change in technology is also acontributing factor to inequalities in the labor market. Change intechnology has led to the emergence of jobs that require new skillsin the use of these technologies. This has made individuals that donot adapt to the technologies fail to be employed in jobs using thetechnologies, while those individuals that embrace emergingtechnologies become employed in the jobs.

Differentgovernment and employer policies can be used to effectively reducework-related inequalities and insecurities. One such governmentpolicies include enhancing the employment standards and the laborrelations legislation. This can be through the governmentstrengthening the power of unions. Unions can be used to look afterthe interests of employees for instance, where the unions feel thereis inequality in the provision of employment, they can fight toreduce the inequality. The same case applies to job insecurity.Besides, government can support professional associations in trainingemployees so that there is a reduction in job insecurity andinequality that may emerge from change in technology or lack ofeducation up to a certain level. Employers can also come up withpolicies that tend to reduce inequality and job insecurity bylobbying the government to change laws that may be discriminatory tobusinesses through friendly laws, employers will be in a position toassure employees of job security. In addition, through making alljobs equally competitive, it would be possible to mitigate jobinequality since all individuals regardless of gender wouldparticipate in the jobs.


Clark,A. &amp Fabien, P. (2008) ‘Job security and job protection.’OxfordEconomic Paperspp. 1–33.

Heisz,A. (2005) ‘The evolution of job stability in canada: Trends andcomparisons with U.S. results.’ Canadian Journal of Economics38(1), 105–127.

Krahn,H., Hughes, K. D., &amp Lowe, G. S. (2011).&nbspWork,industry, and Canadian society.Toronto: Nelson Education.

Perrewe,P. L., &amp Ganster, D. C. (2010).&nbspNewdevelopments in theoretical and conceptual approaches to job stress.Bingley: Emerald.

Sverke,M. (2004).&nbspJobinsecurity and union membership: European unions in the wake offlexible production.Bruxelles: PIE Lang.

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