Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Gain of employment and perceived health status among previously unemployed persons: evidence from a longitudinal study in the United States.

Park S, Chan KC, Williams EC. Gain of employment and perceived health status among previously unemployed persons: evidence from a longitudinal study in the United States. Public Health. 2016 Apr 1; 133:83-90.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVES: Using longitudinal datasets, we investigated whether gaining employment was associated with improvements in perceived mental health and overall health among previously unemployed U.S. residents. We additionally examined whether the association varied across types of employment and socio-demographic characteristics. METHODS: We used multiple two-year panel datasets of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey during 2004-2012. We studied two health outcomes: perceived mental health and overall health. Our independent variables were employment status: full-time, part-time, self-employment, and unemployment. To examine the association between gaining employment and perceived health, we employed population-averaged models with generalized estimating equations. We secondarily examined the association across subpopulations (gender, race/ethnicity, and education). RESULTS: Those who gained full-time, part-time, and self-employment were more likely to report good mental health than those who stayed unemployed (AOR [Adjusted Odds Ratio] = 2.90, 95% CI 2.23 to 3.78, AOR = 1.63, 95% CI 1.28 to 2.06, and AOR = 3.24, 95% CI 1.08 to 9.70, respectively). Those who became full-time and part-time employed were more likely to report good overall health relative to those who stayed unemployed (AOR = 2.28, 95% CI 1.82 to 2.86 and AOR = 1.91, 95% CI 1.52 to 2.40, respectively). For both measures of perceived health, the magnitudes of the association were larger for those who gained full-time employment than part-time employment. AORs were relatively higher for males, black persons, and people with less than a college education relative to other groups in each subpopulation. CONCLUSION: Improving employment outcomes may improve perceived health. Transiting toward full-time employment, in particular, may maximize the benefits of employment.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.