As widespread as the problem is today, the facts about the effects of unemployment on the quality of life are even more distressing. Unemployment is not simply a statistical figure, a number, a political point to make. It is about human beings, their families and their future. And the facts are not comforting.
The first fact to consider is that unemployment actually eventually kills some people. Mortality rates are higher for people who have been previously unemployed. In a study in Finland by Pekka Martikainen of the University of Helsinki, mortality for the previously unemployed was 2.5 times higher than for people not previously unemployed. Even when considering initial health differences and other demographics for the unemployed, the increased mortality is 47 percent. Margaretha Voss and her colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm followed 20,632 twins in Sweden from 1973 to 1996. They found that unemployment increased mortality over this period of time, with significant increases of suicide, injuries and accidents, and with higher mortality rates among the less educated in this group.
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