Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Temp Work Strains Employee Mental Health


ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2009) — Workers hired for temporary, contract, casual or fixed-term positions are at risk for increased mental health problems, according to research to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

"Temporary workers—those lacking long-term, stable employment—seem to be susceptible to declining mental health for as long as they continue to work in these so-called 'disposable' or 'second class' jobs," said Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, a medical sociologist at McGill University and the study's primary investigator. "This research shows that temporary work strains employee mental health, as contingent workers report more symptoms of depression and psychological distress than similarly employed workers who are not in these fixed-term positions."

As of 2005, about 4.1 percent of the U.S. workforce—5.7 million American workers—held a position they believed to be temporary, according to the most recent data available from the Current Population Survey.

"These findings should be of particular interest for employers as they consider the long-term or global health impact of relying on a contingent workforce to meet current or future employment needs," said Quesnel-Vallée.

As if employers cared.

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