Comparable risk of suicidal ideation between workers at precarious employment and unemployment: Data from the Korean welfare panel study, 2012–2017

Woorim Kim, Myung Ki, Minjae Choi, Areum Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Precarious employment and unemployment are important factors that impact suicidal behavior. This study investigated (1) how employment transitions among permanent employment, precarious employment, and unemployment are associated with suicidal ideation in working employees and compared (2) whether individuals transitioning among these three states were more vulnerable than those remaining. Using nationally representative longitudinal data between 2012–2017, a total of 25,862 adults aged 25 to 59 years old without a record of suicidal ideation were included at baseline. Transitions in employment status (permanent work, precarious work, or unemployment) and suicidal ideation were analyzed using hierarchical logistic regression models. Compared to the “permanent to permanent” group, individuals in the “permanent to precarious” (odds ratio (OR) 1.74, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.29–2.35], “permanent to unemployment” (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.32–2.96), “precarious to precarious” (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.21–2.85), and the “precarious to unemployment” (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.05–1.95) groups had higher odds of suicidal ideation. The magnitude of such odds was generally higher than that of individuals at annual unemployment or precarious states. The results show that adults moving in and out of different employment states have higher odds of suicidal ideation than individuals at annually static precarious or unemployment status.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2811
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 2



  • Employment status
  • Employment transition
  • Precarious employment
  • Suicide ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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