Money and Employment: The Best Anti-Depressants

That’s according to a new poll from Gallup.

Scrooge McDuck, looking pretty not-depressed, dives into a pile of gold.
National Journal
Matt Berman
Aug. 23, 2013, 8:05 a.m.

Feel­ing down this year? Ac­cord­ing to Gal­lup, that could have something to do with not work­ing as much as you’d like.

In a sur­vey con­duc­ted from Jan. 1 to Ju­ly 25, of more than 100,000 Amer­ic­ans, Gal­lup found sev­er­al eco­nom­ic pre­dict­ors for de­pres­sion. Here are the res­ults by em­ploy­ment status:

 

In Ju­ly, 8.2 mil­lion Amer­ic­ans were work­ing part-time in­vol­un­tar­ily, up from May but largely un­changed from June. Nearly 54 mil­lion Amer­ic­ans were not in the labor force in Ju­ly, in­clud­ing more than 3.7 mil­lion people who at that time wanted a job. With an over­all un­em­ploy­ment rate of 7.4 per­cent, 11.5 mil­lion Amer­ic­ans were un­em­ployed in Ju­ly.

Ac­cord­ing to Gal­lup, all of those people were much more likely to be de­pressed than people who were em­ployed full time. Of course, it’s cer­tainly pos­sible that people who don’t suf­fer from de­pres­sion are more likely to be able to find full-time work.

But that’s not the only eco­nom­ic pre­dict­or of de­pres­sion:

 

Money may not buy hap­pi­ness, but the more of it you have, the less likely you are to be de­pressed. And, if you have a whole lot of money, you’re more likely to be able to do something like this, care of Break­ing Bad:

 

The pro­file of an Amer­ic­an who’s most likely to be de­pressed? A white wo­man who’s out of the work­force, mak­ing less than $36,000 a year, age 22-64.

Gal­lup found that, over­all, about 10 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans claim to be de­pressed, which lines up with Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion es­tim­ates.

But work isn’t everything. New re­search from Kan­sas State Uni­versity shows that “work­ahol­ics” — defined as people who work more than 50 hours a week — are more likely to be less phys­ic­ally and men­tally well. So, even if you’re shoot­ing for that $90,000-a-year-plus level of hap­pi­ness, make sure to find a bal­ance.

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