Many studies have found that problem drinking is related to subsequent unemployment; however, the reverse association is unclear. Some studies have found that unemployment can increase total drinking, alcohol disorders, and/or problem drinking while others have found that unemployment can decrease drinking or have no effect at all. An analysis of binge drinking as either a predictor or outcome of unemployment has found that binge drinking among women seems to have a significant association with long-term unemployment.

“Problem drinking while employed could impact on your ability to perform work tasks, due to hang-overs, health problems caused by drinking, frequent absences, or actual ‘drunk working,'” explained Mona C. Backhans, author of the study. “While unemployed, problem drinking may have an impact on your search activity. Employers are also likely to not choose people who lack references from a former employer, who have extensive absence records from their previous employment, or frequent job changes/periods of unemployment.”

“For women, binge drinking once a week or more as a predictor was associated with long-term unemployment,” said Backhans. “For both men and women, initial associations between frequent binges and any unemployment were explained by the characteristics of the binge drinkers – younger, lower educational qualifications – and in addition for men, more previous unemployment.”