The psychological scars of unemployment

Human beings are adaptable. They can get used to the loss of a limb or a long illness. But one thing they don’t get used to is unemployment:

Most people adapt surprisingly well to changes in their lives. Even after tragic events such as the death of a family member or a chronic disease, they restore their former wellbeing, if not always completely (Clark et al 2008). There is one event, though, for which this appears not to be true – unemployment. Compared with other negative experiences, the life satisfaction of the unemployed does not restore itself even after having been unemployed for a long time.


Job-seekers looking for a break. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

( Source: SOEP 1984-2009 )

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