Long-Term Unemployment Has Long-Term Physical and Emotional Effects

The impact of long-term unemployment on the mind, body and soul far exceeds the impact on the wallet.

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Americans hold up "I Want to Work" signs. (Getty)

ColorLines is reporting that the effects of long-term unemployment far exceed the impact it has on your wallet. According to the article, CNN and the New York Times have reported new research showing that long-term unemployment doesn't just affect the jobless in the short term but also has deep implications for the lifelong health and well-being of these individuals, as well as their children and families. One study by a sociologist in Albany, N.Y., Kate W. Strully, found that people who lose their jobs are 83 percent more likely to develop stress-induced conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis and depression. Another paper, by Till von Wachter, an economist at Columbia University, looked at mortality and income records of workers in Pennsylvania during the recession of the early 1980s. Wachter found that death rates increased astronomically for the unemployed in the year they lose their jobs, up to 100 percent. Mortality rates remained significantly higher for those who lost their jobs than for comparable workers who didn't. In fact, the life expectancy of the unemployed is cut by a year to a year-and-a-half.

We're sure that stress is exacerbated when unemployment benefits have to be voted on every six months, especially when some elected officials want to help the employed more than they do those who are unemployed. And yet another real-world consequence of stressful situations that could be alleviated by help from elected officials, who are supposed to work on behalf of the people, yet continue to work on behalf of special interests.

Read more at ColorLines.

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