BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.

To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.

To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.

Login Register Subscribe

Absenteeism because of depression costs employers $23B annually: Gallup

Absenteeism because of depression costs employers $23B annually: Gallup

Absenteeism among employees diagnosed with depression costs U.S. employers an estimated $23 billion annually, according to a Gallup Inc. report.

More than 18 million full- and part-time employees — roughly 12% of the total estimated U.S. workforce — have been diagnosed with depression at least once, according to the report, which was released Wednesday.

Full-time employees who were diagnosed at some point in their lives with depression missed an average of 8.7 workdays annually for health-related reasons, 4.3 more days than employees without a history of depression, according to Gallup's report.

The gap was even larger for part-time workers. Part-time workers diagnosed with depression missed an average 13.7 days of work annually, five days more than workers who had not been diagnosed.

Gallup's findings were based on data collected in its sweeping “Well-Being Index” study, conducted from January 2011 to December 2012. The study interviewed 303,625 working adults nationwide.

Cumulatively, employees who have had or are currently struggling with depression miss an estimated 68 million more days of work per year, Gallup's findings indicated. At an expense of approximately $341 per absence per employee, the lost productivity costs employers an estimated $23.3 billion each year.


“Nationally, one in eight U.S. workers have been diagnosed with depression, yielding tens of millions in the workforce who have either grappled with emotional health issues in the past or do so today,” Gallup wrote in its report. “Furthermore, the cost-of-absenteeism estimates shown in this analysis exclude other potential economic costs associated with depression, including productivity loss while on the job, health care utilization, workers compensation and turnover, among others.”

Employers seeking to reduce the extent to which depression affects the physical and emotional health of their employees — not to mention the financial health of the company itself — should strongly consider investing in resources designed for early detection and treatment of depression, offering an employee assistance program and generally strive to destigmatize depression and its treatment in the workplace, Gallup's report said.

“One less obvious but potentially fruitful strategy for employers to help improve the mental well-being among some employees with depression or depressive symptoms is engaging them through the fulfillment of certain critical psychological needs in the workplace,” the report said. “Engaged employees demonstrate an elevated willingness to participate in workplace well-being programs and boast elevated physical and emotional health when compared with those who are disengaged.”

The full report is available here.