NB19-05

Changing Labor Markets and Mental Illness: Impacts on Work and Disability
Investigators: Richard Frank (Harvard and NBER), Sherry Glied (New York University and NBER)

This project analyzes the effect of changing labor market demand on people with mental health impairments. For example, the World Economic Forum projects that the top 5 skills required in the labor market of 2020 will be: complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, and coordinating with others. At the same time, automation is reducing demand for routine work and lower wage jobs. These trends may be one explanation for the growth in disability claims by people with mental disorders, during a period when access to effective treatment was improving. The project examines changes in the occupational distribution of people with mental illnesses over the past 20 years, and the extent to which people with mental illnesses are differentially affected by changes in skills demand in the labor market.

Social Security (OASI and DI)
Disability incidence
Labor force participation
Technology change
Skill demand
Mental illness
Employment