Study: No Job Better Than Bad Job

Having no job is better for your mental health than a bad job, according to a study cited by Time magazine. Read on:

Australian National University researchers looked at how various psychosocial work attributes affect well-being. They found that poor-quality jobs — those with high demands, low control over decision making, high job insecurity and an effort-reward imbalance — had more adverse effects on mental health than joblessness.

The researchers analyzed seven years of data from more than 7,000 respondents of an Australian labor survey for their Occupational and Environmental Medicine study in which they wrote:

“As hypothesized, we found that those respondents who were unemployed had significantly poorer mental health than those who were employed. However, the mental health of those who were unemployed was comparable or more often superior to those in jobs of the poorest psychosocial quality… The current results therefore suggest that employment strategies seeking to promote positive outcomes for unemployed individuals need to also take account of job design and workplace policy.”

I believe this study in that I have always thought that there was nothing suckier in this country than having a job you hate and being broke. Shudder. What do you all think?


6 thoughts on “Study: No Job Better Than Bad Job

  1. will work bad job for food

    Having had a healthy mix of good and bad jobs before my current state of long-term-unemployment, I have to say that even at the worst of the bad jobs, there is a salve in that paycheck.

      • :-)

        The up side is that with all the time on my hands and the need to get creative in stretching the family’s food budget, I have actually learned to cook healthy, inexpensively and relatively well. No bad job or lousy boss ever gave me THAT.

  2. I’m lucky.

    Very, very lucky.  I’ve been without a “job” for two decades.  Now, I couldn’t hold a real job down due to health reasons.  In the past couple of years, we’ve invested in real estate.  My goal was to acquire sufficient rental properties to bring in about $2000-$3000/month.  We’ve reached that goal.  In my mind, it sort of makes up for my inability to work.  It’s my security.  And, to be honest, it’s going towards our retirement, too.

  3. Anecdotally, I can agree with this

    Of course, there is stress in having no job and struggling to pay for things. But I’ve always been in fairly low-paying, high-stress (and in one case, verbally abusive) jobs, and it would often get to a point where I’d think doesn’t my mental health have a value? I understand the reasoning behind doing what you have to do, but that isn’t necessarily the best thing for one’s mental health, and I do believe that’s important.

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