Job loss due to health tied to depression

Jan. 9, 2008 at 9:13 PM   |   Comments

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. workers who lose their jobs because of their health suffer more significant depression and detrimental health outcomes than others unemployed.

The study, published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, also suggests that people who are reemployed quickly have better health outcomes than those who remain unemployed.

Study co-author Sarah Burgard, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, says re-employment appears to be key for mitigating these health effects for people who lose their jobs -- either for health-related reasons or other reasons, say a layoff.

Burgard and co-authors James House of the University of Michigan and Jennie Brand of the University of California, Los Angeles, distinguished between health-related job losses and other involuntary job losses, such as layoffs, to reassess the effect of involuntary job loss on health.

Health insurance is often tied to full-time, long-term employment, but the most vulnerable workers in the new service economy have no access to employer-sponsored healthcare while they are employed, Burgard says.

After a job loss for health reasons, workers who have no health insurance have few resources to aid recovery or help with a new job search, Burgard says.

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