Downward occupational mobility, unemployment, and job satisfaction
Highlights from Research Brief 4:
- This study examines the impact of downward occupational mobility on job satisfaction and the context under which it causes less well-being damage.
- Drawing on eighteen years of longitudinal data provided by the British Household Panel Survey, our analysis shows that downward occupational mobility has enduring negative effects on post-turnover job satisfaction trajectory.
- However, the effect of downward occupational mobility on job satisfaction is moderated by individuals’ career trajectories and the conditions of their local labour market.
- When downward occupational mobility is preceded by a spell of unemployment, it does not reduce job satisfaction. By contrast, individuals suffer a significant loss of job satisfaction when they directly transition from higher skilled occupations into lower skilled occupations.
- The effect of downward occupational mobility varies across regions. While downward mobility has no significant effect on job satisfaction in regions with high unemployment rates, it reduces job satisfaction in regions with low unemployment rates.
- This study highlights the relative nature of individuals’ subjective well-being functions. It appears that no life event is simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’, as self- and social comparisons feature prominently in how people judge their lives.
The full brief can be read here.Back to blog