For ENGL 187
Effects of Unemployment
Unemployment is one of biggest concerns for both governments and civilians, unemployment rate is an important index to estimate a countries’ economic trend, citizens’ living standard, and countries’ political stability. Correspondingly, unemployment significantly affects society individually, economically, and politically.
On individual aspect, unemployment may cause homelessness. For general public, losing the job greatly means losing the source of income. In this condition, one outcome of unemployment is inability to meet financial obligations. Since people cannot afford their rent or loan, they will probably have difficulties to maintain their current living standard. Therefore, for those people who fail to pay rent, they could be homeless. According to a statistic form National Coalition of Homeless, 56% homeless people in U.S. do not have a job. In addition, divorce may occurred when one spouse, especially man, suffers long-term unemployment. A research designed by Liana Sayer, Ph.D., of Ohio State University, shows how employment status influences both men’s and women’s decisions to end a marriage. The research suggests that male unemployment not only increases the chances that his wife will initiate divorce, but also that he will be the one who opts to leave. It is understandable that spousal relationship would be soured when material dissatisfaction grows. Moreover, if fundamental need (food, clothing, and housing) cannot be met, divorce might be a reasonable choice for both sides.
Unemployment rate is indicative of the state of the economy. One result of unemployment is the economy cannot fulfill the maximum growth. High unemployment rate leads to the country’s productive resources cannot be used sufficiently. Therefore, the economic growth rate will be negatively influenced when the market cannot supply enough goods for its demands. On the other hand, it is no doubt that unemployed person will save every expenditure as much as possible due to their limited financial saturation. Therefore, those unnecessary spending such as travel may be cancelled. Consequently, personal consumption will be dramatically declined due to high unemployment rate. In general, unemployment badly affect economy by unnaturally decreasing both demand and supply. As third result of higher unemployment, the government needs spend more to settle those unemployed persons. However, those massive expenditures could be spend on other social welfares or investments, one of them is boosting economy growth.
Higher unemployment also considerably affects politics. Higher unemployment rate often results in higher criminal rate. A new research posted by Ohio State University shows that: “among less educated men, lower wages and higher unemployment rates in the states where they lived made it more likely that they had participated in crimes”. When people have no way to make live by working on a legal job, certainly they will have two approaches feeding themselves, one of them is to wait for other’s help (social assistance), otherwise, be a criminal(robber, thief, etc.). Therefore, the longer the government takes to solve the problem, the more possibility that peoples will choose the later one. In addition, social unrest can be caused by high level unemployment. Rising unemployment conventionally increase people’s dissatisfaction about the government. This might be a trigger of political revolution. According to John Simkin’s opinion, the fall of the Weimar Republic in 1933 and Adolf Hitler's rise to power is attributed to the poor economic conditions and remarkably high unemployment rate (30 percent) in Germany at the time.
To be concluded, unemployment widely and negatively affects our society on three major aspect: individuals, economics, and politics.
"Employment and Homelessness." National Coalition of Homeless. 1 July 2009.