A bad job is just as damaging to your mental health as unemploymentS

Being unemployed is generally regarded as detrimental to your mental health, with the prevailing wisdom being that gainful employment will fix you right up. Unfortunately, according to research published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a crappy job can be just as bad — if not worse — than unemployment.

Analyzing more than 7,000 working-age Australians across a great number of data points, the researchers found that people defined good jobs as ones that provided a defined social role and purpose, friendships, and structured time (among other things). Being hired into these kinds of jobs resulted in an overall improvement in mental health. Conversely, those in jobs that offered little control, were very demanding, and provided little support and reward lead to a general decrease in mental health.

This could have a large impact on governmental initiatives that assume any employment is better than none — though I wonder how the numbers would change in a system like America, where the unemployed aren't afforded easy access to state-run health care.

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