Unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is of the utmost importance for governing bodies worldwide. Its constant increase during the last months is subject of major concern for both citizens and policy makers, as individuals might experience increased feelings of job insecurity due to the pandemic context and to the latest developments on the job market. Job insecurity refers to a perceived threat to the continuity and stability of employment as it is currently experienced and has a negative impact on the individuals’ quality of life. Many researches have linked job insecurity with low levels of well-being and high levels of stress, as well as local or national measures taken in job creation and job retention. Aside from individual factors, there are other critical influences that should be considered in order to better understand the dynamics of job insecurity against the COVID-19 pandemic. Such influences can come from regional features such as spatial, economic, or demographic characteristics, like gender, age, or education.<br/>The aim of the paper is to identify and spatially represent the variations and evolution of job insecurity during the on-going pandemic. Our analyses are based on the PsyCorona database (15.311 participants), a study with self-reported data deployed in countries all around the world, that monitored various psychological variables during the first pandemic waves. For the purpose of this research, data related to the first wave (March-July 2020) was selected. In order to get a better understanding of the spatial distribution of self-reported job insecurity, we chose to focus on eight European countries (France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Greece, Romania, Spain, and Italy). Respondents from Western Europe countries expressed lower scores on self-reported job insecurity and less variance over time while those from Southern and Eastern Europe displayed higher scores for job insecurity and more variance. Moreover, we found that the higher the overall job insecurity is perceived in a country, the higher the discrepancies between age, gender, and education categories tend to be.

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Ibanescu, B., Gheorghi, A., Cristea, M., Pascariu, G., Leander, N. & PsyCorona Collaboration 2023, 'The evolution of job insecurity in spatial contexts in Europe during COVID-19 pandemic', International Regional Science Review. https://doi.org/10.1177/01600176231160485

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Last updated: 14 March 2023
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