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Perspectives on Labour and Income - November 2007
Depression at work
Heather Gilmour and Scott B. Patten
- In 2002, nearly half a million employed Canadians aged 25 to 64, almost 4% of the workforce, reported a major depressive episode in the previous 12 months. An additional million workers had experienced depression during some other period.
- In 2002, the majority (71%) of 25-to 64-year-old Canadians who reported having experienced a major depressive episode in the previous 12 months were employed; however, symptoms associated with this condition may have hampered their ability to perform their jobs.
- Overall, workers with major depression had been totally unable to work or carry out normal activities for 32 days in the previous year.
- In Canada, the cost of productivity losses in the form of short-term disability days due to depression was estimated at $2.6 billion in 1998.
- The occurrence of depression in the workforce was twice as prevalent among women as men (5.1% vs. 2.6%) and was much more common among persons who were divorced, separated or widowed (7.5%)-as opposed to those married or in a common-law relationship (3.0%).
Heather Gilmour is with the Health Information and Research Division. She can be reached at 613-951-2114. Dr. Scott B. Patten is with the Departments of Community Health Sciences and Psychiatry at the University of Calgary. He can be reached at 403-220-8752 or both at email@example.com.
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