Rising Stress and Depressed Mood Reversing Among Women and Older Working Adults, Still Increasing in Younger Workers
At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-April, the Mental Health Index measured an overall 38 percent increase in feelings of stress and a 54 percent increase in anxiety. Both levels have been falling recently, with stress among women seeing a significant drop. However, despite these declines, stress and anxiety remained substantially elevated at the end of June compared to the baseline. Overall, stress is up 14 percent and anxiety is up 27 percent.
Feelings of depressive mood increased 31 percent between February and June. This percentage dropped over the past month thanks to a 20 percent decrease in depressive mood among women between May and June.
While workers in the 60+ age group are experiencing stress, anxiety, and depressive mood at levels on par with February, the youngest working adults have not fared as well. Among those aged 20–39, stress increased 13 percent, anxiety increased 25 percent, and depressed mood increased 30 percent since February.
Not surprisingly many of those factors directly impact employee performance, as documented over decades of research on stress and anxiety in the workplace.