When the gig economy becomes a public health issue

Globe and Mail

Linda Nazareth is a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. Her bookWork Is Not a Place: Our Lives and Our Organizations in the Post Jobs Economy is now available.

Another day, another dollar, right? Not exciting maybe, maybe not that fun either, but at least predictable.

Having a job that provides a paycheque at regular intervals is a source of comfort, while not having one is a source of stress. Today, an increasing number of workers get that dollar some days but for one reason or another, some days they do not. As a result, they may be more or less employed, but stressed all at the same time. Income instability is becoming the reality for many, and with that instability comes worry and strain – and maybe health consequences as well.

There is indeed evidence to suggest that income volatility is hazardous to your health. A new study published in the journal Circulation had researchers tracking data for nearly 4,000 individuals in the United States starting from the age of 23 through to 35. Looking at income levels five times over that span, they also monitored individuals’ medical records during the same period. 

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