Wednesday, March 16. 2011
While creating job opportunities has been a major U.S. goal for the past few years, a new study has found that being unemployed may be better for an individual's mental health than having a job they hate.
While researchers have traditionally assumed that being employed makes a person feel more fulfilled and needed, that is not always the case. Having a demanding, poorly paying job can sink people into a heavier depression than if they remained unemployed, according to researchers from the Australian National University in Canberra.
Scientists analyzed a mental health survey of 7,000 unemployed adults, and rated them based on factors such as depression, anxiety and positive well-being. Unemployed people had an average mental-health score of 68.5, compared to the 75.1 that employed people had. While researchers found that those unemployed people who obtained good jobs saw their scores rise by 3.3 points, those who took a bad job experienced a 5.6-point drop below average, lower than if they would have remained unemployed.
A person who stays at a job they dislike may even experience problems that can boost their health insurance rates. The American Institute of Stress reports that 25 percent of Americans believe their job is the number one stressor in their lives, a condition that can lead to increased hypertension, insomnia and depression.
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