People living with psychotic illness 2010

Employment and housing

Page last updated: November 2011

People with psychotic illness experience very high rates of unemployment and low rates of labour force participation. They are also at greater risk of homelessness. Factors contributing to these high rates include social isolation, family breakdown, stigma, discrimination and the need for acute care, including hospital admissions.

Income and employment

Government pensions were the main source of income for 85.0% of people.

One third (32.7%) were in paid employment and 30.5% were employed on a full-time basis (figure 19 and figure 20).
  • 74.8% were in open, competitive employment
  • 7.6% were self-employed and
  • 17.1% were in sheltered, non-competitive employment.
Hours worked varied by sex and age:
  • Males worked more hours per week in paid employment than females (26 compared to 20 hours respectively).
  • Younger people (18-34 years) worked 25 hours on average compared with 22 hours per week for those aged 35-64 years.
Half (48.5%) of males were employed as labourers, a further 14.2% as technicians/ trade workers and 12.1% as community/ personal service workers.

For females, the most common occupations were labouring (26.5%) and community/ personal service work (26.4%).

Just over half (56.2%) of those in paid work had disclosed their mental health status to their employer.

Housing and homelessness

Half (48.6%) of people were renting, with 26.8% in public rentals and 21.8% in private rentals (figure 21).

Whilst half (51.5%) were satisfied with their current living situation, 12.5% were somewhat or very dissatisfied.

Two-fifths (39.8%) would prefer to live in their own home or unit.

One-tenth (10.4%) of people had changed accommodation more than once in the previous year (figure 22).

Some 5.2% of people were homeless at the time of the study and 12.8% had experienced periods of homelessness over the previous year.

Half (52.8%) had discussed accommodation needs prior to hospital discharge, but 6.9% reported they had not been given any assistance and were homeless on discharge.

Figure 19: Source of income

Refer to the following table for a text equivalent of figure 19: source of income

Text version of figure 19

Source of incomeProportion (%) - malesProportion (%) - females
Any source of income (past year)99.597.8
Main source government pension85.683.7
Paid employment (past year)33.631.3
Paid employment (current)21.222.0
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Figure 20: Employment type for those employed in past year

Refer to the following list for a text equivalent of figure 20: employment type for those employed in past year

Text version of figure 20

Employment type for those employed in past year:
  • Competitive part-time - 47.1%
  • Competitive full-time - 27.7%
  • Non-competitive part-time - 16.3%
  • Self-employed part-time - 5.5%
  • Self-employed full-time - 2.0%
  • Non-competitive full-time - 0.8%
  • Not known - 0.5%
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Figure 21: Current and preferred accommodation

Refer to the following table for a text equivalent of figure 21: current and preferred accommodation

Text version of figure 21

Public rented house/unit25.926.8
Private rented house/unit17.221.8
Family home10.419.1
Own house/unit39.813.1
Supported accommodation2.811.0
Institution/ hospital0.12.0
Other (i.e. caravan)1.31.1
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Figure 22: Housing changes in past year

Refer to the following list for a text equivalent of figure 22: housing changes in past year

Text version of figure 22

Housing changes in past year:
  • None - 72.5%
  • One move - 17.0%
  • Two moves - 3.7%
  • Three or more moves - 6.7%
  • Not known - 0.1%