Is no job better for your health than a bad one?

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According to a recent Australian study, having no job is better for your mental health than having a job where working conditions are unfavorable. Data from over 7,000 individuals was used to compare the mental health of the employed with those who were jobless. The researchers expected to find generally poorer mental health scores among those that were not employed, which they did; however, they did not expect to find the mental health scores of individuals with poor quality jobs to be lower than those who were unemployed (poor quality jobs were defined as jobs that were under paid, poorly supported or short-term). Getting a high quality job after being unemployed did boost mental health scores in the population studied. Furthermore, a direct correlation was found between each unfavorable working condition and one’s mental health score. “Work-first policies are based on the notion that any job is better than none as work promotes economic as well as personal wellbeing… Psychosocial job quality is a pivotal factor that needs to be considered in the design and delivery of employment and welfare policy,” the researchers commented. Click here to read an article from Business Week that discusses this study more.

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