Younger Workers and Mental Health

Several recent studies indicate that younger workers face greater mental health challenges than older workers and are increasingly working in less desirable jobs. A brief highlight of the findings is covered below.

52% of workers want more hours.

>27% of temporary workers want full-time work.
12.4% of part-time workers would prefer full-time employment.
47.9% of agency workers are under 35.
28% increase in the number of self-employed younger workers.
Unemployed young people are twice as likely to suffer from mental health problems.

Less than 26% of young people would discuss their mental health with their employers.

4 out of 10 gig workers are 18-29 years old.

Part Time Work

More than 1/2 of all zero-hours contracts are filled by younger workers.

Younger workers are 3 times more likely to be on a zero-hours contract.

33% of younger workers are assessed in the bottom 10% of mental health wellbeing.

Younger workers in Part Time Work are 29% more likely to experience mental health problems.

1 in 4 Younger Workers are in Part Time Work

Underemployed Workers

Younger workers are 2x more likely to be underemployed/overqualified.
The percent of graduates working in non-managerial roles has doubled since 2004.
The number of underemployed younger workers increased 60% between 2002 and 2014.
The number of 21-25 year olds in low paid work is up 82%.

Underemployed/overqualified workers are 37% more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression.

35% of young graduates (<35 years) are working in non-professional roles.

Taken together these data suggest that, while an increasingly more educated work force is entering the job market, the availability of professional and managerial jobs has not kept pace. And while the UK job market remains strong, employers are increasingly relying on part-time jobs and classifying jobs as self-employed to manage labour costs. The compound impact of these forces is creating additional stress for younger workers.

These studies serve as a reminder that, while most assume sickness and disability primarily affect older workers, employers are responsible for looking after the health and well-being of all staff: young and old alike.

Should you have concerns about your staff or questions about how to implement a wellness agenda within your organisation feel free to reach out to our advisers. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Institute for Public Policy Research, Flexibility for Who? Report.
Center for Longitudinal Studies, Economic Activity and Health.
UK.GOV, Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices
PMI Health Group, Only a third of mental health sufferers talk to boss

Additional Reading

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