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Depression Rates Highest In These 17 Jobs

depression rates

There are four things about a job that are likely to make it have high depression rates.

Bus drivers top the list of occupations with the highest depression rates.

They are closely followed by real estate agents and social workers.

What do these — and the other jobs with the highest rates of depression — have in common?

It’s dealing with the public, as the study’s authors explain:

“…service industries which require frequent or complex interactions with the public or clients are disproportionately represented…

This supports the theory that the stress of emotional labor could contribute to depression.”

High emotional labour refers to the idea of frequently having to manage your emotions in a job.

For example, imagine a flight attendant smiling and saying “Good morning” to the 465th passenger of the day.

Here is the full list of the 17 jobs with the highest depression rates:

  1. Transportation driver
  2. Estate agent
  3. Social worker
  4. Manufacturer
  5. Personal services
  6. Legal services
  7. Housekeeper
  8. Membership organisations
  9. Security and commodities brokers
  10. Printing and publishing
  11. Agricultural services
  12. Retail
  13. Electric, gas, and sanitary
  14. Special trade contractors
  15. Petroleum and coal
  16. General merchandise retail
  17. Auto repair

This is far from the first time that depression has been linked to people working in public transportation.

The authors explain:

“The highest depression rates were found for Local and Suburban Transit and Interurban Highway Passenger Transportation

This industry contains bus drivers who have frequently been observed to have elevated rates of heart disease, hypertension, or stroke, often attributed in part to work stress.”

More than just dealing with the public, though, it is too much interpersonal conflict that is linked to high depression rates:

“…industries with the highest depression…tended to be industries that, on the national level, had more interpersonal conflict and encounters with difficult people than industries with the lowest depression rates.”

The other major factors for depressing jobs:

  • Low levels of control over your work.
  • Little physical activity during work.
  • High levels of work/family conflict.
  • Much effort for little reward.

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The study was published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology (Wulsin et al., 2014).