Technology-induced job loss risk, disability and all-cause mortality in Norway

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Bratsberg, Bernt, Ole Røgeberg, Vegard Skirbekk




Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Sammendrag (engelsk)

Background: Ongoing shifts in economic structure from automation and globalisation can affect employment and mortality, yet these relations are not well described. Objective: We assess whether long-term employment and health outcomes relate systematically to structural change in the labour market, using the occupational Routine Task Intensity (RTI) score as indicator of exposure is to risks of outsourcing and technology-induced job loss. Methods: Using a cohort design and administrative data with national population coverage, we categorise all Norwegian employees in 2003 by the RTI score of their occupation and examine how this score correlates with employment and health outcomes measured in 2018 and 2019. The study sample counts 416 003 men and 376 413 women aged 33-52 in 2003. Results: The occupational RTI score at baseline is robustly associated with long-term employment, disability and mortality outcomes. Raw correlations are reduced after adjustment for potential confounders, but associations remain substantial in models controlling for individual covariates and in sibling comparisons. Working in an occupation with RTI score 1 SD above the mean in 2003 is associated with a raised probability of being deceased in 2019 of 0.24 percentage points (95% CI: 0.18 to 0.30) for men and 0.13 percentage points (95% CI: 0.02 to 0.24) for women, corresponding to raised mortality rates of 6.7% and 5.5%. Conclusions: Individuals in occupations characterised by high routine intensity are less likely to remain employed in the long term, and have higher rates of disability and mortality.


disability; longitudinal studies; mortality