Affecting almost one quarter of the population (or 4,640,000 people) in the 12 months to June 2014, stress is the most common mental health issue in Australia. In recognition of Mental Health Week (5–11 October), Roy Morgan Research investigates how a person’s profession relates to their likelihood of suffering from stress.
As our recent Spotlight on Australians’ Health in the latest State of the Nation Report explored in detail, people looking for full- and/or part-time work are noticeably more likely than the average Aussie to have experienced stress in the past year. But what about people in paid employment?
Well, that depends on the job. The latest Roy Morgan data shows that Sales Support Workers are the most stressed occupation, with almost half (48.3%) experiencing stress in an average 12 months. Hospitality workers (37.7%), Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals (35%) and Carers and Aides (34.6%) also report an above-average incidence.
Professions most likely to have experienced stress in past year
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 – June 2014 (n=48,947).
Rounding out the five professions most likely to have experienced stress in the past year were Health and Welfare Support Workers (33.9%).
Among the occupations least likely to be affected by stress are Skilled Animal and Horticultural Workers (7.1%), Clerical and Office Support Workers (11.6%) and Storepersons (13.1%), all of whom are even less prone to stress than retirees (14.3%).
Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“In the last five years, stress has risen slightly among Australians, with almost one quarter of the population experiencing it in the past year. Among working Aussies, Sales Support Workers reported the highest incidence of stress, ahead of those employed in the Hospitality industry at a non-managerial level.
“Both professions are in constant contact with an often-demanding public, and are not generally well paid. Furthermore, people employed in these professions are frequently young — and our data indicates that 18-24 year-olds are more likely than any other age group to be affected by stress.
“People working in the caring professions are also more likely to suffer from stress, which is not surprising given their exposure to people in trying, sometimes tragic circumstances.
“On a brighter note, it appears that working with animals or plants is one way of avoiding stress, as is retirement! Being out of work, on the other hand, increases a person’s likelihood of experiencing stress. Certainly, there’s nothing relaxing about competing with hundreds of other job-seekers and waiting for hours in Centrelink queues.
“Stress is unpleasant enough in its own right, but of greater concern is the potential impact it can have on our health. Anxiety is also increasing among the population, with some 16% of Australians reporting anxiety, so awareness-raising events like Mental Health Week serve a very important purpose.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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