Mental Health

Impact of Unemployment on Mental Health

unemployment mental health Posted On
Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Unemployment and Mental Health

It is well known that unemployed people have worse mental health than their employed counterparts (Kasl SV, Jones BA, 2000). During economic crises, suicide rates usually rise, and unemployment is associated with unhappiness, depression, substance abuse, and a long list of impacts on people. (1)

Those at the most risk for mental health challenges after a job loss are those for whom unemployment is an immediate threat to survival. People with fewer financial resources and those who perceive more financial strain from unemployment are less satisfied with their lives, according to a meta-analysis led by Frances McKee-Ryan, Ph.D., a professor of management at the University of Nevada, Reno (Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 90, No. 1, 2005).

Unemployment

unemployment

Population below poverty line

population below poverty line

Age-standardized suicide rates

suicide rates worldwide

10 Countries with the highest crude suicide rate

countries with highest suicide rate

Overview

COUNTRY% POP. BELOW POVERTY LINEUNEMPLOYMENT %CRUDE SUICIDE RATE PER 100,000 DEPRESSION %ANXIETY %
Lesotho5724,492,40214,8%3,1%
Guyana3513,4637,32744,5%5,7%
Eswatini58,923,4435,0677N/AN/A
Lithuania22,29,1234,85855,6%3,2%
Russian Federation13,35,5732,04825,5%3,1%
Kiribati259,329,72833,1%3,2%
South Korea14,44,77284,10%3,80%
Suriname707,2224,76174,8%5,8%
South Africa16,625,1524,5224,6%3,4%
Belarus5,75,9124,33135,6%3,2%
Kazakhstan2,64,9323,24474,4%3,3%
Ukraine3,89,1421,62126,3%3,2%
Latvia25,59,8721,59674,9%3,2%
Slovenia13,98,9621,04075,1%3,8%
Montenegro8,617,5420,71514,8%3,8%
Mongolia29,64,8620,00534,2%3,3%
Hungary14,96,8119,94255,1%3,9%
Japan16,13,419,13364,2%3,1%
Botswana19,317,7119,0454,7%3,1%
Uruguay9,77,4918,64315,0%6,4%
Belgium15,18,4818,59864,8%4,7%
Vanuatu12,71,8118,16583,1%3,2%
Zimbabwe72,35,2917,95584,0%2,8%
Croatia19,516,1817,60535,1%3,8%
Serbia8,917,6616,35555,0%3,8%
Austria35,7215,99575,1%4,9%
Estonia21,16,1915,88925,9%3,2%
Poland17,67,515,85315,1%3,9%
France14,210,3515,83834,8%6,2%
Sweden157,4315,73184,9%4,8%
Sri Lanka6,74,5215,16164,1%3,4%
Switzerland6,64,814,96385,0%4,9%
Central African Republic624,314,44314,2%3,0%
Cabo Verde3011,914,41294,9%3,1%
United States15,15,2814,39915,9%6,3%
Iceland93,9814,25714,1%4,9%
Finland12,39,3814,03165,6%3,2%
Cuba262,414,03145,5%6,1%
Mozambique46,13,4313,90924,1%3,0%
Czech Republic9,75,0513,56995,2%3,8%
Germany16,74,6213,26675,2%5,8%
Australia13,26,0513,22495,9%7,0%
Portugal1912,4413,20745,7%4,9%
Canada9,46,9112,99324,7%4,9%
Samoa18,88,6612,65753,2%3,3%
Norway0,54,312,45834,7%7,4%
Slovak Republic12,311,4812,41125,1%3,9%
India21,95,5612,27154,5%3,0%
Luxembourg18,36,6712,17495,0%4,9%
Netherlands8,86,8711,78184,7%6,4%
New Zealand155,3511,72025,4%7,3%
Eritrea506,6611,64754,3%3,1%
Namibia28,720,8911,64214,4%3,1%
Romania22,46,8111,51385,0%3,7%
Bosnia and Herzegovina16,927,6910,71075,1%3,8%
Georgia9,216,5110,53035,0%3,5%
Korea, Dem. People’s Rep.602,8310,50143,7%3,7%
Trinidad and Tobago202,4310,20015,2%6,1%
Haiti58,513,9510,03734,3%5,5%
Cote d’Ivoire39,53,110,00223,8%2,7%
Chile14,46,519,975,0%6,5%
Kyrgyz Republic32,17,569,894,1%3,2%
Bulgaria23,49,149,835,2%4,0%
Equatorial Guinea448,319,784,2%2,9%
Togo55,12,29,713,9%2,8%
Gabon34,320,229,644,3%3,0%
Cameroon303,519,463,9%2,7%
Fiji314,369,393,5%3,3%
Ireland8,29,919,314,8%6,3%
North Macedonia21,526,079,175,0%3,9%
Uzbekistan145,29,164,2%3,3%
Djibouti2311,399,025,1%3,3%
SingaporeN/A3,798,994,6%3,6%
Pakistan29,53,578,974,2%3,5%
United Kingdom155,38,824,5%4,2%
Ecuador21,53,628,794,6%5,6%
Zambia54,410,18,724,0%3,0%
St. Lucia20,320,678,654,9%5,9%
Nepal25,23,18,523,2%3,6%
Argentina25,77,618,34,7%6,3%
China3,34,68,134,2%3,1%
Benin36,22,578,063,9%2,7%
Thailand7,20,68,044,4%3,5%
Solomon Islands12,70,678,022,9%3,1%
Somalia7313,257,994,0%2,9%
Burkina Faso40,16,047,963,6%2,7%
Mauritius87,417,944,4%3,5%
Spain21,122,067,95,2%4,1%
Vietnam81,857,664,0%2,2%
Morocco159,467,44,5%4,5%
BahrainN/A1,327,394,8%4,3%
Ghana24,26,817,314,2%2,8%
Guinea-Bissau673,017,254,0%2,8%
Malta16,35,387,185,1%4,9%
Guinea474,387,173,9%2,7%
Italy29,911,97,135,1%5,0%
El Salvador32,746,944,4%4,6%
Congo, Dem. Rep.639,96,793,8%2,8%
Chad46,71,876,783,5%2,6%
Costa Rica21,796,734,7%4,6%
Congo, Rep.46,54,46,613,9%2,8%
Angola36,67,266,473,6%2,8%
United Arab Emirates19,51,746,475,1%4,1%
Burundi64,61,556,444,2%3,0%
Bolivia38,63,076,384,4%5,4%
Dominican Republic30,57,616,374,7%5,7%
Senegal46,76,766,363,9%2,7%
Saudi Arabia12,75,596,344,5%4,3%
Iran, Islamic Rep.18,711,066,324,9%4,6%
Turkmenistan0,23,946,294,2%3,4%
Malawi50,75,856,194,1%3,0%
Armenia3218,266,155,0%3,5%
Qatar00,176,115,1%4,2%
Belize417,585,974,4%5,7%
Sierra Leone70,24,645,883,9%2,8%
Brazil4,28,435,875,8%9,3%
Guatemala59,32,515,833,7%4,2%
Paraguay22,24,565,735,2%7,6%
Rwanda39,11,145,723,8%3,2%
Lao PDR220,695,593,2%3,1%
Mexico46,24,315,564,2%3,6%
Libya3318,875,564,5%4,5%
Ethiopia29,62,25,524,7%3,3%
Yemen, Rep.5413,45,513,6%4,1%
Comoros44,88,095,514,4%3,1%
Madagascar70,71,795,484,4%3,1%
Kenya36,12,85,464,4%3,1%
Niger45,40,525,373,4%2,5%
Gambia, The48,49,35,073,9%2,7%
Cambodia16,50,395,063,4%3,2%
Greece3624,95,045,7%4,9%
OmanN/A 3,325,024,7%4,1%
Malaysia3,83,14,833,8%4,9%
Albania14,317,194,764,8%3,8%
CyprusN/A14,914,75,1%5,1%
Uganda21,41,864,674,6%2,8%
Tonga22,52,644,63,2%3,3%
Israel225,254,544,6%2,8%
Liberia54,12,084,493,5%2,7%
Bhutan122,454,494,2%3,7%
Mali36,17,734,283,6%2,6%
Nicaragua29,64,74,234,2%4,5%
Tanzania22,82,14,164,1%3,0%
Tajikistan31,57,534,133,8%3,1%
Colombia288,34,134,7%5,8%
Iraq2310,724,073,7%4,5%
Azerbaijan4,94,964,074,6%3,4%
Honduras29,66,154,024,0%4,3%
Afghanistan54,511,393,973,3%4,0%
Sudan46,517,293,883,6%4,1%
Nigeria704,313,693,9%2,7%
South Sudan6612,453,594,4%3,1%
Timor-Leste41,84,453,513,0%2,9%
Bahamas, The9,3123,465,2%6,2%
Bangladesh24,34,383,414,1%4,4%
Egypt, Arab Rep.27,813,053,283,5%4,2%
St. Vincent and the Grenadines30,219,163,254,9%5,8%
Myanmar25,60,773,183,7%3,3%
Tunisia15,515,163,144,9%4,6%
Mauritania3110,223,034,1%2,8%
Papua New Guinea372,562,953,0%3,2%
Panama2332,94,4%4,5%
Lebanon28,66,312,794,7%5,5%
Maldives155,672,793,7%3,3%
Peru22,72,922,714,8%5,7%
Algeria2311,212,684,5%4,5%
KuwaitN/A2,22,565,0%4,6%
Indonesia10,94,512,363,7%3,3%
Philippines21,63,072,273,3%3,1%
Turkey21,910,242,264,4%4,0%
Venezuela, RB19,77,442,254,2%4,4%
Jamaica17,113,512,24,8%5,7%
Brunei Darussalam57,691,884,0%3,6%
Syrian Arab Republic82,58,51,743,9%4,3%
Sao Tome and Principe66,213,461,463,9%2,7%
Jordan14,213,081,464,0%4,3%
Barbados13,911,350,6015,4%6,1%

Conclusion

“The bottom line is people need to eat. They need to have shelter. They need to have health care,” says David Blustein, PhD, a professor of counseling, developmental and educational psychology at Boston College. (2)

Unemployment has a negative impact and leads to impaired mental health of the working-age population.


  1. https://observatoriosociallacaixa.org/en/-/el-desempleo-dana-la-salud-mental#:~:text=It%20is%20well%20known%20that,list%20of%20impacts%20on%20people.
  2. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/10/toll-job-loss
  3. https://data.un.org/_Docs/SYB/PDFs/SYB63_329_202009_Labour%20Force%20and%20Unemployment.pdf
  4. Https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.sdg.3-4-data?lang=en
  5. https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/indicators/indicator-details/GHO/crude-suicide-rates-(per-100-000-population)
  6. https://databank.worldbank.org/reports.aspx?source=2&series=SL.UEM.TOTL.ZS&country=#
  7. https://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?c=by&v=69
  8. https://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/country_grouping_2016.pdf

Institute of Work and Health, Canada: Unemployment and Health

Mentalhealth.org.uk: Mental Health Foundation warns of “profound effect” of unemployment on public mental health

Health.org.uk: Unemployment and mental health

Observatoriosociallacaixa.org: Does unemployment harm mental health?

US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health: Influence of Unemployment on Mental Health of the Working Age Population

Beyondblue.org.au: Unmeployment and Mental Health

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