Lousy Job 'Worse for Mental Health Than No Job'

Health benefits of becoming employed depend on job quality: study
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2011 4:39 AM CDT
Lousy Job 'Worse for Mental Health Than No Job'
Job seekers attend a career fair in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Studies have found that unemployment is bad for a person's mental health, but new research has discovered that having a lousy job can be as bad or worse. The researchers studied thousands of people of working age and found that while getting a good job after a period of unemployment significantly boosts mental health, the mental well-being of those who entered jobs with terrible pay, no security, and no workplace support dropped below that of people who remained jobless, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Researchers concluded that the widespread deterioration of working conditions and the rise in short-term jobs is likely to have significant social costs. "Work-first policies are based on the notion that any job is better than none as work promotes economic as well as personal well-being," they write. "Psychosocial job quality is a pivotal factor that needs to be considered in the design and delivery of employment and welfare policy." (More unemployment stories.)

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