Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

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%).

Full article: HTML | PDF


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

You need to use the free Adobe Reader to view PDF documents. To view (open) these files, simply click on the link. To download (save) them, right-click on the link. Note that if you are using Internet Explorer or AOL, PDF documents sometimes do not open properly. See Troubleshooting PDFs. PDF documents may not be accessible by some devices. For more information, visit the Adobe website or contact us for assistance.