Bill McCarthy and Angela Carter, University of California, Davis, "Poverty, Health, Well-Being, and the Working Poor: A Comparative Analysis of Three Service Occupations from Two Countries"
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
"A good body of research documents the association between poverty and poor health and well-being, particularly among people who are outside of the labor force. However, between five to seven percent of the poor in Canada and the United States are working poor and we know relatively little about the health consequences of their poverty. This paper examines associations between health, well-being and economic status with self-report data from a four wave panel study of approximately 500 workers from two sites—Victoria BC and Sacramento CA—who were employed in one of three frontline service industries: hair styling and barbering, food and beverage serving, and sex work. The results show a consistent pattern of associations between changes in the extent of material deprivation and five measures of poor health and well-being: stress, fatigue, depression, and overall physical and mental health. In contrast, measures of income, relative deprivation, and poverty status have little relationship to health or well-being. These results highlight the adverse health consequences of service workers’ economic disadvantage and suggest that measures of material hardship best capture the disadvantages the working poor experience."