November 12, 2020

Job insecurity linked to anxiety, depression in young adults during COVID-19

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

New research from the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; and University of California, San Francisco; finds that young adults in the US are experiencing a significant mental health burden as a result of job insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The analysis shows that since March 13, 59% of US young adults experienced direct or household employment loss, and 38% were expected to experience direct or household employment loss in the coming 4 weeks.


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The study also found that symptoms of anxiety and depression were common in this sample of young adults. In the 7 days before the survey:

  • 75.3% reported being nervous, anxious, or on edge
  • 67.8% reported not being able to stop or control worrying
  • 66.8% reported they had little interest or pleasure in doing things
  • 64% reported feeling down, depressed, or hopeless.

Policymakers need to consider the long-term scarring that may occur as a result of both employment losses and poor mental health, the researchers say.

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