Who experiences subjective job insecurity due to digital transformation in Germany? SozW, 72 (4) 2021, 384 – 414, doi.org/10.5771/0038-6073-2021-4-384
In many countries, digitalization is accompanied by disruptive changes in the labor market, including polarization in employment and wages as well as a decrease in employment growth. However, little is known about the individual (micro-level) consequences of digitalization, especially regarding differently affected subgroups. In this study, the authors investigate the relevance of digitalization, as measured by the task-based substitution potential of occupations, for individuals’ subjective job insecurity (SJI), focusing on differences between individuals with different socio-demographic and subjective-affective characteristics. They use large-scale cross- sectional data on employed persons from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) of 2013. The linear regression models show that individuals in occupations with a high substitution potential report higher levels of SJI, compared to those with a low substitution potential. Moderation analyses reveal that the positive corre- lation between substitution potential and SJI concerns only certain social groups: older workers (46–55 years), employees with low and medium educational qualifi- cations, and employees with a higher degree of neuroticism. Thus, the overall corre- lation between digitalization and SJI masks social inequalities in the extent to which people are affected by digital transformation.