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Depression Risk Spikes for the Unemployed, Gallup Survey Finds

Update Date: Jun 10, 2014 02:40 PM EDT

According to a new Gallup survey, people who are unemployed have a higher risk of becoming depressed. The researchers found that the longer someone is unemployed, the higher the depression risk gets.

The latest poll reached 356,599 Americans who were a part of the 2013 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. 18,322 people were unemployed at the time of the survey. The researchers found that the length of time that people were unemployed greatly affected their depression risk. 10 percent of people who were out of a job for three to five weeks stated they were being treated for depression. This rate jumped to 17 percent for people who were unemployed for six-months to one-year. 19 percent of people who have been unemployed for over one year reported being treated for depression.

The longer people were unemployed the more pessimistic they became. Roughly 70 percent of people who were out of a job for five weeks or less believed that they could find a job within the next four weeks. For people who have been unemployed for at least one year, only 30 percent were optimistic about finding a job within the next four weeks.

The researchers then compared depression rates between unemployed and employed adults. They found that unemployed people were around two times more likely to be depressed than employed people with the rates being 12.4 percent to 6.4 percent respectively.

The survey also looked at depression rates for people based on their types of employment. They found that 5.6 percent of people with fulltime jobs were depressed or were currently receiving treatment for depression. Eight percent of people with part-time jobs who were not looking for a fulltime job were depressed. 10.3 percent of people with a part-time job who were looking for a fulltime one reported battling depression.

The poll, "In U.S., Depression Rates Higher for Long-Term Unemployed," can be found here.

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