Labor Market Health Care Project

In 2006, Dr. Kenneth Hudson, Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Work, began work on the Labor Market Health Care Project to examine the relationship between employment and health care. The project consists of two parts:

  • The Labor Market Health Care Survey (LMHCS)  focused on a small sample longitudinal study of employment and health care in high poverty neighborhoods in Mobile County.
  • Examination of the Current Population Survey (CPS) data assessing the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on health insurance coverage in the United States.
Pictured from left to Right: Timothy Linthicum, marcellus Hudson, Kenneth Hudson, Alan Akira, Andrea Hudson, and Errol Crook. Not shown: Marcus Mitchel and Destini Smith

To date, the LMHCS research team has collected data from 230 participants regarding their employment and health care. The employment data includes information about the participant’s jobs over their life course, and whether or not their jobs have provided them with health insurance.  We have also collected information about the participant’s health care provider and the health care services they receive.

We find that many of our participants have jobs that do not provide them with health insurance. Those that have employer provided health insurance frequently do not have it over their life course. This reality is important considering that health insurance coverage and having a personal relationship with a medical doctor is a key predictor of whether or not the diagnostic testing for diabetes and heart disease.

The second component of the project, our analysis of data from the CPS, shows that the ACA has greatly reduced the proportion of adult Americans without health insurance. Most of the reduction has resulted from the expansion of the Medicaid program.

Publications and presentations resulting from the project include:


Linthicum, Timothy. 2015. “ Health Insurance in America: Who Has it and How They Got it.” M.A. thesis, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL.

Bryan, Valerie, Willette Brye, Kenneth Hudson, Leevones Fisher, Shantisha Hansberry, and Martha Arrietta. 2014. “Investigating Health Disparities through Community-Based Participatory Research: Lessons Learned from a Process Evaluation.” Social Work in Public Health 29:318-334.

Hudson, Kenneth. 2013 “Labor Markets.” In Vicki Smith (Ed.), Volume 1 of Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia. Sage.

Conference Presentations

Hudson, Kenneth, Andrea Hudson, and Marcellus Hudson. 2016. “The Labor Market Health Care Survey: Using Probability Sampling with Microdata.” Paper presented at the 2016 Meeting of the Southern Sociological Society in Atlanta, GA.

Hudson, Kenneth, 2015. “Labor Market Segmentation, Race, and Health Insurance Coverage.” Paper presented at the 2015 Meeting of the American Sociological Society in Chicago, IL.

Akira, Alan, 2015 “Measuring Health Care Utilization in Low Income Communities.” Paper presented at the Southern Regional Meeting of the American Federation for Medical Research, New Orleans, LA.

Hudson, Kenneth. 2012. “Dual Labor Market Theory and Its Unanswered Question.” Paper presented at the Institute for Work and Employment Research Seminar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, MA. May 1.

Hudson, Kenneth. 2010. “How Do You Do It? Methodological Questions, Challenges, and Ideas in Researching Health Disparities. ”Paper presented at 2010 Meeting of the Mid-South Sociological Association in Baton Rouge, LA.

Hudson, Kenneth. 2010 Session Organizer, Methodology and Health Disparities. at 2010 Meeting of the Mid-South Sociological Association in Baton Rouge, LA.

Hudson, Kenneth, Shermeka Hawthorne, Martha Arrieta, and Errol Crook. 2010. “The Impact of Labor Market Segmentation on Health Care in Low-Income Neighborhoods.” Paper presented at the 2010 Meeting of the Southern Sociological Society in Atlanta, GA.