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Authors

Rocha

Abstract

The current study investigates financial and emotional consequences to workers as the U.S. economy continues to shift from a manufacturing to a service economy. One hundred eighty-eight garment workers were surveyed before their plant closed in 1998 and six months later to assess reemployment opportunities, financial difficulty and emotional well-being. All workers experienced some financial difficulty after the plant closed, with single parents reporting the greatest financial difficulty. Workers who became immediately reemployed lost an average of $2.41 in wages per hour. Sixteen percent of the sample lost their health insurance. Overall depression and anxiety scores declined over six months, but not evenly. Men and single women did not significantly decline in depression or anxiety. Financial difficulty was the most important predictor for both depression and anxiety. Immediate reemployment served to increase depression in the presence of financial difficulty.

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