Bad Job Hurts Mental Health More Than Unemployment, Study Says

Source: Eva von Schaper, Bloomberg News, March 14, 2011

Working in a job marked by low control, high demands, complexity and the perception of unfair pay may lead to worse mental health than being unemployed, a study says.

Holding a job with little psychosocial quality doesn’t provide any of the benefits of being employed in a more satisfying position, according to the study published today in the journal Occupational Environmental Medicine.

Because paid work is linked to a defined role, structured time and purpose, mental-health researchers have often seen any kind of employment as beneficial. This study found, in contrast, that moving from unemployment to a job of low quality could be detrimental, Peter Butterworth, of Australian National University in Canberra, said in the paper.

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