Job loss has a devastating impact on families and children, especially when the search for another job becomes prolonged and fruitless. Unfortunately, few public programs and coping mechanisms are available. Unemployment is one of the many factors associated with a declining economic condition within the country manifested by the recession, or the continuing decline of economic output. It is in the author’s intent to identify a number of causes and effects of how unemployment impact families and spark discussion of ways of starting a trend that will inevitably alleviate some of the stresses that are caused by job loss and unemployment.
Job loss has both immediate and long-term economic effects. Not all families are affected equally y the experience of job loss and unemployment. Several strands of research suggest that black workers may be more severely affected by job loss than their white counter-parts. Although an increasing unemployment rate will be discovered later, months after a recession is announced, it is also an indirect cause for recession.
Many U.S. companies today as a result of the technological revolution have replaced human labor with machineries, equipments, and computers. A large company that used to employ thousands of employees to improve mass production may be cut down in to hundreds because of the speed and accuracy that these modern facilities can create.
Human population. As the number of people needing jobs increase, there is no guarantee that the same number will be provided by employers as new jobs. It is also taken into account that with recessions occurring for example, and with some employees losing their jobs due to layoffs, plus the number of new graduates every year, the unemployment rate will naturally go up. Outsourcing. Many U.S. firms have now hired the skills of employees outside the country specifically South Asia in which salaries are lower than the requirement if they hire the services of American job seekers.
Some of these companies will even place their main offices or headquarters in Asian regions. Global Competition. It is now a fact that many U.S. firms have began facing fierce competitions with firms from all over the world. Countries like China, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom have made their marks in different industries. Some companies from outside the U.S. have even rescued losing companies in the country by investing on them. While there are many other causes to the unemployment in the U.S., Technology, human population, outsourcing, and global competition have had the most impact.
The financial crisis that started in 2007 is the main factor for the increasing unemployment rate in the United States, especially when we speak of those being laid off. According to compiled information gathered from the unemploymentoffices.us website, a country’s economic strength depends on the country’s GDP, or gross domestic product. In layman’s terms, demand and supply are the indicatory marks of a nation to evaluate its GDP. Meaning there is a number of goods being produced and consumers have the ability to pay for those goods. The total goods being purchased, or clearly the goods being produced and paid at the same time by its consumers, are the GDP. However, the catch is that most of these consumer goods were purchased with credit cards and not actual cash. Goods were actually paid with money that is still to earn, or will be paid at a later date.
When a country has huge consumer debt, it results to bad debt and bankruptcy with lenders, and just like what happened to Lehman Brothers that lost $600 billion worth of assets due to slow returns on loans and other forms of credit, any financial institution can lay off 1,200 people from their jobs.
Research shows that involuntary job loss affects both mothers and fathers of all children and can have negative consequences for children’s academic achievement, behavior in school and college aspirations. There is also a link between job loss and depression. According to Dr. Sudeepta Varma, Psychiatrist at New York University Medical Center, “Spouses are fighting more often, and the anxiety and depression, and the substance abuse [that can follow], are often extremely more damaging than the job loss”. Not all job loss leads to substance abuse and other negative behaviors. People cope with loss in their own ways and job loss can be more stressful for one individual if that individual also faces other stressors.
Stress can increase as the time between job loss and finding a new job lengthens. According to the Pew Study, those who experienced long-term unemployment were twice as likely to experience depression and seek professional help as those unemployed for six months or less. Depression related to job loss can strain individuals, relationships, and entire communities. While they may have more time, depressed individuals who lose their jobs usually invest less time and resources in community and family activities. This may include helping less with events in their children’s school, engaging less in homework with their children, participating less in community activities such as civic clubs, or being less able to maintain their homes in good condition.
Personal relationships suffer when spouses blame one another for not for seeing job losses, not saving enough income in good times and cutting spending during bad times. Stress in parental relationships can cause arguments and have negative impacts on children. Individuals, both men and women, may suffer severe negative consequences from job loss when their identity is tied to providing economic stability for themselves and their families. Depression can spill over into an individual’s physical health, leading to worsened physical health and chronic conditions. Even re-employment can fail to ameliorate the negative impacts of job loss if new jobs have lower salaries, less opportunity for advancement and do not allow employees to use their educational achievements to the fullest extent possible.
Lastly, it is not just those who are unemployed that experience depression and anxiety. Those who remain at work can take on a form of “survivor’s guilt” wondering why they were not laid off and whether they will be next. Moreover, remaining employees are often asked to take on the work their former colleagues had been doing, which adds stress to the still employed.
In conclusion, by outlining and identifying the causes of how technology, human population, outsourcing, global competition, and the financial crisis have impacted the crippling and devastating world of unemployment, it has lead us to see how individuals and families are effected and how it has a domino effect on other entities such as the community, the economy and the still employed. Given limited public support for direct financial assistance to families, programs geared to helping families cope with the emotional impact of job loss might be more plausible. Many different facets families experience of economic hardship can be targeted for prevention.
These could include adolescents’ worries about the family’s economic situation and the impact that it might have on future options, concerns about parent’s well-being and marital relationship, and heightened conflict among family members. For instance, programs could provide referrals or information regarding mental health services. Programs could also teach parents and adolescents to share information about plans to reduce economic stress and to work together to develop constructive strategies to realize these plans.
http://www.time.com/business/article/0,8599,1874592,00.html Kalil, Ariel, Ivey Business Journal, 2005
Kviat, Barbara. (2009). After layoffs, there’s survivors guilt. TIME Pew Research Center. (2010). “The impact of long- term unemployment www.unemploymentoffices.us, “Common causes of unemployment in the United States”. , 2014
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