Waiting tables a real drag for women

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There’s a good chance your waitress is depressed.

Nearly 15 percent of women working in the food service industry report having experienced depression in the last year – nearly triple that of their male counterparts, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

And, depression among food workers is among the highest of occupations included in the report. But the workplace blues aren’t limited to restaurants.

Combined data from 2004 to 2006 show 7 percent of adults ages 18 to 64, employed full time in one of 21 occupational categories, experienced a “major depressive episode” during the past year.

The report doesn’t address why depression occurs more widely in some professions than others.

For purposes of the study, major depression is defined as a lack of interest or pleasure in everyday activities lasting at least two weeks or wide swings in mood.

And, it might come as no surprise that depression isn’t good for the bottom line either.

U.S. companies lose an estimated $30 billion to $44 billion a year because of employee depression, the report says.