We studied occupational status of persons with schizophrenic psychoses by age 34 in a longitudinal population-based cohort and predicted which demographic and illness-related factors could support the patients to maintain their occupational capacity. Subjects of the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort with the diagnosis of DSM-III-R schizophrenic psychoses (n=113) by the year 1997 were followed until the end of year 2000. Various illness and socio-demographic factors at the time of onset of illness were used as predictors. At the end of the follow-up time 50 (44%) of patients were not pensioned and 22 (20%) were also working at least half of the time during year 2000. After adjusting for gender, being unemployed at onset, educational level and proportion of time spent in psychiatric hospitals, those who were married or cohabiting at the time of onset of illness were less often on pension than those who were single (OR 6.51; 95% CI 1.83-23.12). Thus, nearly half of the patients with schizophrenic psychoses were not pensioned after an average 10 years follow-up. Based on our findings, those who were single at time of their onset of illness probably need most support to retain their contacts to work life.