Report Ranks Jobs by Rates of Depression

Report Ranks Jobs by Rates of Depression

AP News Wire
October 13, 2007 08:16 PM EST  

— People who tend to the elderly, change diapers and serve up food and
drinks have the highest rates of depression among U.S. workers.

Overall, 7 percent of full-time workers battled depression in the
past year, according to a government report available Saturday.

Women were more likely than men to have had a major bout of
depression, and younger workers had higher rates of depression than
their older colleagues.

Almost 11 percent of personal care workers _ which includes child
care and helping the elderly and severely disabled with their daily
needs _ reported depression lasting two weeks or longer.

During such episodes there is loss of interest and pleasure, and at
least four other symptoms surface, including problems with sleep,
eating, energy, concentration and self-image.

Workers who prepare and serve food _ cooks, bartenders, waiters and
waitresses _ had the second highest rate of depression among full-time
employees at 10.3 percent.

In a tie for third were health care workers and social workers at 9.6 percent.

The lowest rate of depression, 4.3 percent, occurred in the job category that covers engineers, architects and surveyors.

Government officials tracked depression within 21 major occupational
categories. They combined data from 2004 through 2006 to estimate
episodes of depression within the past year. That information came from
the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which registers lifetime
and past-year depression bouts.

Depression leads to $30 billion to $44 billion in lost productivity
annually, said the report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration. The report was available Saturday on the
agency’s Web site at

The various job categories tracked could be quite broad, with
employees grouped in the same category seemingly having little in

For example, one category included workers in the arts, media,
entertainment and sports. In the personal care category, a worker
caring for toddlers at a daycare center would have quite a different
job from a nursing aide who helps an older person live at home rather
than in a nursing home.

Just working full-time would appear to be beneficial in preventing
depression. The overall rate of depression for full-time workers, 7
percent, compares with the 12.7 percent rate registered by those who
are unemployed.

Leave a Reply