Workplace suicides in 2009 matched the record-high level they hit in 2008, according to data released by the U.S. Labor Department.
The number of workplace suicides — workers who took their own life while on the job — reached 263 in 2009, the same number as in the prior year. In 2007, there were 196 such suicides. The data go back to 1992.
Overall, there were 34,598 deaths from suicide in the U.S. in 2007, according to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The vast majority of workplace suicides were among men. Among wage and salary workers, suicides fell 11 to 184 in 2009. Meanwhile, suicides among the self-employed rose 11 to a record 79.
Suicidal behavior can result from an interaction of several factors, such as substance abuse, troubled personal relationships or financial issues, said Dr. Alexander Crosby, who contributed to the CDC report. “Factors coming together may put somebody at risk, or make them vulnerable to suicidal behavior,” Crosby said.