Research on the prevalence of health indicators by employment status among young US adults is limited.
We analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of young adults aged 18 to 24 years to document the prevalence of five health behaviors (cigarette smoking, risky drinking, leisure-time physical activity, and fruit and French fries consumption) by employment status.
Unemployed young adults reported higher levels of risky drinking and nonengagement in leisure-time physical activity, while employed young adults had higher levels of smoking, French fries consumption, and low fruit/vegetable consumption. Transportation/material-moving young adult workers reported the highest level of risky drinking (13.5%), and precision production/craft/repair workers reported the highest smoking rates (39.7%). Conclusions:We found an elevated prevalence of risk factors, which places young workers at increased risk for the development of chronic conditions later in life.