How Does Employment, or Unemployment, Affect Health?

On average, American adults spend more than half their waking hours at work. For millions of Americans, a steady job in safe working conditions means more than simply a paycheck. Employment can also the income, benefits, and stability necessary for good health.

On the flip side, job loss and unemployment is associated with a variety of negative health effects.

Employers can institute a variety of strategies—including workplace wellness programs, job safety training, and education initiatives—to keep employees healthy and help their bottom line. Additionally, the National Prevention Strategy highlights how the federal government and community leaders can expand access to jobs and economic opportunity to create more opportunities for healthy living.

This Health Policy Snapshot, published online in March 2013, examines the role that employment plays in health.

Read more from RWJF's Health Policy Snapshot series.