The effect of job loss on depressive symptoms: The results from the Korean Welfare Panel Study (2007-2013)

Hyo Jung Yoon, Jae Woo Choi, Suk Young Jang, Sang Ah Lee, Eun Cheol Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Unemployment is closely associated with depressive symptoms. We conducted analysis to find whether the job loss increased the risk of depressive symptoms according to job status, occupation and tenure. Methods: Data were collected from Korean Welfare Panel Study (KOWEPS) from 2007 to 2013. To measure the increase in depressive score, we selected respondents who answered for at least 2 years of continuous waves. We performed a longitudinal analysis by generalized estimating equation (GEE) method with a total of 19,399 cases. Among them, 608 cases (3.1%) experienced job loss. Results: There was a significant rise in depressive score after job loss (β = 1.34, p =.000). In subgroup analysis, precarious and low-tenure workers are considerably more depressed after job loss (precarious: β = 1.98, p <.0001, low-tenure workers: β = 1.31, p =.001). Both white and blue collar workers showed a rise in depressive score significantly (white collar: β = 1.16, p =.031; blue: β = 2.03, p =.001). Conclusion: The results showed that precarious and low-tenure workers were relatively vulnerable in mental health after experiencing job loss with low and negative expectation for re-employment. It implies that supports for encouraging work skill and financial supports during the unemployment period should be needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-62
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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