Protocol - Job Insecurity

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This protocol is only for use with people who are currently employed (full time, part time, or currently with a job but not at work because of temporary illness, vacation, or strike). The interviewer asks about the respondent’s perception of how likely it is that he or she will lose the job in the next 12 months and his or her ability to find another job.

Specific Instructions



1. Thinking about the next 12 months, how likely do you think it is that you will lose your job or be laid off—very likely, fairly likely, not too likely, or not at all likely?

1 [ ] Very likely

2 [ ] Fairly likely

3 [ ] Not too likely

4 [ ] Not at all likely

5 [ ] Will be leaving labor force (vol.)

8 [ ] Don’t know

9 [ ] No answer

0 [ ] Not applicable

2. About how easy would it be for you to find a job with another employer with approximately the same income and fringe benefits you now have? Would you say very easy, somewhat easy, or not easy at all?

1 [ ] Very easy

2 [ ] Somewhat easy

3 [ ] Not easy at all

8 [ ] Don’t know

9 [ ] No answer

0 [ ] Not applicable



Personnel and Training Required

The interviewer must be trained to conduct personal interviews with individuals from the general population. The interviewer must be trained and found to be competent (i.e., tested by an expert) at the completion of personal interviews. The interviewer should be trained to prompt respondents further if a “don’t know” response is provided.

Equipment Needs

The PhenX Working Group acknowledges that these questions can be administered in a computerized or noncomputerized format (i.e., paper-and-pencil instrument). Computer software is necessary to develop computer-assisted instruments. The interviewer will require a laptop computer or handheld computer to administer a computer-assisted questionnaire.

Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Interviewer-administered questionnaire

Life Stage

Adult, Senior


18 years or older

Selection Rationale

The General Social Survey (GSS) asks these questions as part of a biennial survey. Questions regarding job insecurity are asked of enough participants to characterize the U.S. population with a reasonable sampling error. By using the same questions, researchers can compare their responses (means and distributions) with a nationally representative sample.



caDSR Common Data Elements (CDE) Social Determinants of Health Job Insecurity Questionnaire Assessment Text 7263231 CDE Browser
Derived Variables


Process and Review

Not applicable

Protocol Name from Source

General Social Survey (GSS), 2018


NORC at the University of Chicago. (2018). General Social Survey (GSS), question 196. 

General References

Burgard, S. A., Brand, J. E., & House, J. S. (2009). Perceived job insecurity and worker health in the United States. Social Science and Medicine, 69, 777–785.

Dickerson, A., & Green, F. (2012). Fears and realisations of employment insecurity. Labour Economics, 19, 198–210.

Kalleberg, A. L. (2009). Precarious work, insecure workers: Employment relations in transition. American Sociological Review, 74, 1–22.

Kalleberg, A. L. (2014). Measuring precarious work (Working Paper). EINet Measurement Group.

Protocol ID


Export Variables
Variable Name Variable IDVariable DescriptiondbGaP Mapping
Social Determinants of Health
Measure Name

Job Insecurity

Release Date

May 11, 2020


The Job Insecurity measure is a measurement of the perceived stability of one’s current job and ability to find jobs with similar salary and benefits.


To measure perceived job insecurity


General Social Survey, GSS, GSS Replicating Core, National Opinion Research Center, NORC, Social Determinants of Health, jobs, income, wages