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Social Trends in American LifeFindings from the General Social Survey since 1972$
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Peter V. Marsden

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133317

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133317.001.0001

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Labor Force Insecurity and U.S. Work Attitudes, 1970s–2006

Labor Force Insecurity and U.S. Work Attitudes, 1970s–2006

(p.315) 12 Labor Force Insecurity and U.S. Work Attitudes, 1970s–2006
Social Trends in American Life

Arne L. Kalleberg

Peter V. Marsden

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers subjective well-being at work—both perceived security and job satisfaction. Recent changes in U.S. economic organization have made employment more precarious. Jobs are viewed as less secure than in past decades, after adjusting for cyclical variations in unemployment. Insecurity appears to have grown fastest among the upper socioeconomic groups that historically have been least at risk of job loss. In keeping with happiness trends, though, job satisfaction remained very stable between the 1970s and 2000s. Gains in satisfaction during the course of employment countered lower satisfaction among cohorts of young workers entering the labor force. Present-day workers regard their jobs as less secure, but dissatisfaction need not follow if they regard precarity as a to-be-expected condition of employment.

Keywords:   employee well-being, job security, job satisfaction, precarious employment, unemployment

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