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Despite much speculation, little is known about the net effects of the economy on the employed workforce. To fill this gap, we used state-level data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to examine the effects of the condition of the economy, as indicated by the unemployment rate, on incidence rates of absence reportedly due to symptoms of illness and violent acts in the workplace for 43 states from 1992 to 2009. Our results suggest that the unemployment rate is positively associated with these indicators of absenteeism, and that these effects are delayed in time.

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Journal Article

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