Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health Online-first -article    pdf

https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.4166 | Published online: 23 May 2024

Gender and educational differences in work participation and working years lost in Norway

by Merkus SL, Hoff R, Hasting RL, Undem K, Robroek SJW, Gran JM, Mehlum IS

Objectives This study aimed to quantify the duration of work participation and reasons for working years lost, according to gender and educational attainment, among a Norwegian population.

Methods Register data on labor market attachment between 2000–2015 were obtained from Statistics Norway. We included five cohorts: individuals turning 20 (N=323 333), 30 (N=386 006), 40 (N=388 962), 50 (N=358 745), and 60 years (N=284 425) between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2005. Individuals were followed for ten years. Data completeness allowed calculation of the average time spent in work and years lost to health-related absences and non-employment states per cohort. Changes in state probabilities over time were also depicted. Mean differences between genders and educational levels, and corresponding 95% confidence intervals were based on 1000 bootstrap samples.

Results Both genders spent most time in work; however, per cohort, women worked approximately one year less than men. As cohorts aged, main reasons for working years lost changed from education and economic inactivity to sickness absence and disability pensioning; this trend was stronger for women than men. Individuals with a low education spent fewer years in work and more years in sickness absence and disability pensioning than highly educated peers. This difference tended to be larger for women and older cohorts.

Conclusions Per cohort, women participated one year less in work than men and, depending on age, spent more time in education, economic inactivity, sickness absence, and disability pensioning. Stronger educational gradients were seen for work and health-related absences for older cohorts and women.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2005;31(3):169-178  2020;46(1):77-84  2023;49(1):23-32  2023;49(7):466-476
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