A group of 297 building labourers from the northernmost province of Sweden was monitored for 2 years in order to register health changes associated with unemployment. Blood pressure before and after the observation period was compared with the subjects' experience of unemployment during that period. More than 60% of the men were unemployed during the period studied. At the beginning of the study period no differences in blood pressure levels were observed between groups of subjects who remained employed and those who later became unemployed. However, the blood pressure change during the follow-up period was significantly greater among individuals who were unemployed during the period than among those who were not. Longer periods of unemployment were associated with greater increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The number of symptoms reported at the start of the study and unemployment at the end of the study were also correlated with a greater increase in blood pressure during the study.