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A survey of 371 unemployed people in South East Queensland explored whether deprivation of the latent benefits of employment was able to predict psychological distress after controlling for other key correlates. A standard multiple regression found that the latent benefits (time structure, social contact, collective purpose, enforced activity, and status) accounted for a significant 13 per cent of the variance in psychological distress, with time structure being the most important unique predictor. however, after controlling for self-esteem, positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), satisfaction with employment status, employment commitment, and financial strain, the latent benefits did not significantly add to the prediction of distress. The results are discussed in terms of their practical implications for career development. Even though the current unemployment rate of 5.1 per cent is low, there are still approximately 542000 Australians out of work (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2005). The ABS defines a person as being employed if they are 15 years or older and working at least one hour per week. Thus, the official unemployment rate does not include people who are only marginally attached to the workforce. These people are the underemployed, who are doing casual, part-time or temporary work, hut who could be working full-time. According to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS, 2003), the official figure would most likely be double if those people were also considered. Furthermore, there is a growing trend for organisations to employ staff on a more casual or temporary basis (Campbell & Burgess, 2001), which means that many of today's jobs are insecure.

Business & Personal Finance
September 22
Australian Council for Educational Research

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