The Causes And Effects Of Unemployment On Families Essay Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Unemployment, Social Issues, Workplace, Job, Family, Human Resource Management, Economy, Economics

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/10

[University/Institutional Affiliation]


Unemployment is a serious matter on families and individuals. Being unemployed for the more than six months cause not only financial but even emotional and psychological problems in families. Unemployment is not even good news for a country’s economy. Losing a job or prolonged job hunt suck the coffers of the government and will drag the economy down. If it is dragging the economy down, social unrest will happen.
It is then noteworthy to scrutinize why there is unemployment and its corresponding impacts especially on the families affected. Being knowledgeable about this will help in reaching out for those in need of job.


Unemployment is defined by America’s Bureau of Legal Statistics (BLS) as having no job, currently active of searching for work for a period of four weeks, and being temporarily laid-off and waiting for a company the call back. Beyond the unemployment is called the shadow unemployment. The people included in this category are those who are going back to school for further education or skills upgrade and those retiring from their jobs.

Why there is unemployment

One of the major causes of unemployment is job mismatch. Krulick (2015) called this structural unemployment. This is common in the place where available jobs are in need of workers who have knowledgeable and skilled on advanced technology but the workers in the area do not possess the requirement. It will lead to a situation where there are jobs available but there are no workers fit to fill. It will then lead to higher rate of unemployment.
Unemployment also rises whenever the workforce transitions from one job to another. According to Krulick (2015) this is called frictional unemployment which is manifested in situations where workers switch from one job to another in search for a job that better match their skills and offers better pay. Other workers he said are returning back to school for further studies before going back to the job market to match the skills needed in the high paid jobs. One of the examples of this unemployment is what they call ‘wait unemployment.’ This exists because there are jobs that workers are paid higher than the market-clearing equilibrium wage. This results to attracting other workers to wait and try their luck to get the said jobs while still employed.
Adding to the issue of skills is the lack of experience. Young people tend to have higher rates of unemployment because they have no work experience to sell in the job market. Hunting for the first job is then the most difficult part that will lead them to grab any offer even if it pays lower than the minimum wage.
Another cause of unemployment is being fired from the job because performance issues. Frequent tardiness and absence in the workplace can lead a worker to be fired. Firing is also related to skills. The management can fire an employee if the find a more suitable and skilled worker in the market. It can also be because of worker-employer relations or worker-worker relations. A person can voluntarily leave the job because of conflict mismanagement in the workplace.

The economic costs of unemployment

Hudson from the Elite Daily mentioned that unemployment rate is one of the basic indicators to measure the health of a country’s economy. It is what Hudson called “lagging indicator” of the economy because whenever an economy starts to improve, unemployment rises which hinders the advancement of an economy. Beyond its lagging effects to economy, unemployment has ripples of effects. When one person is fired or unable to hunt for job, one person is deducted from the tax payers and added to those who are receiving unemployment checks that suck the coffers of the government.
In the United States, every person unemployed will apply for the state’s unemployment insurance. As a result, the more unemployed workers in the country mean more tax payers’ money is spent as a bail out that will lead to instability of the government’s finance due to the increase of deficits. Recently, the unemployment went up in the United States because of the financial crisis. It caused social unrest and civil disobedience because there was a lot who fail to avail of the insurance.
It was also a trend in the United States that unemployment greatly affects the real estate market. Khimm (2014) mentioned in an article entitled “Unemployed, and heading toward foreclosure” that unemployment is causing workers to face default in paying bills including mortgage that in return result to foreclosure. She further mentioned that American jobless homeowners have reached millions. After six months of receiving unemployment checks from the government, the millions of Americans who are unable to land into new jobs will face their fear of losing their homes. Khimm featured one African American who never thought that she will worry of being sent away from her home. She was fired from her job and availed of the unemployment check but she was not able to find a new job after six months. The woman then fears that she will lose her home soon as she does not have resources to pay the mortgage.

Individual and family costs of unemployment

In a skills mismatch as a cause for unemployment, some families and individuals cannot afford to go back to school for skills upgrade. As a result an elevation of mental and physical stress occurs. Belle and Bullock in their article entitled “Psychological Consequences of Unemployment,” unable to find a job will affect the relationships inside a family including the wellbeing of children and spouse. For families that have no resources to tide-over until their workers are hired, it may result to death for the children or the sickly.
Belle and Bullock further mentioned that jobless people compared to those with stable jobs have poorer mental health, lesser satisfaction in marital and family life, and lower satisfaction in life. They cited a study mentioning that unemployment is “associated with depression, anxiety, psychosomatic symptoms, low subjective wellbeing and poor self-esteem” (Belle and Bullock, “The Psychological Consequences of Unemployment”).
Krulick (2015) explained that “a job helps define a person’s place in the society and productive work has long been understood as necessary for a happy life.” In this point, if a person in a family does not find a job in a longer time, it will lead to family strife, illness, depression and worse, suicide. Being unemployed for quite some time lead a person to feel worthless. A prolonged unemployment also leads to difficulty in paying the basic bills. This leads a family to feel that they are not already contributing to society leading to the erosion of cultural wellbeing.


For the United States, work means life. It keeps the economy afloat and people to keep on living. It is then detrimental for the state unemployment agency to understand more on how families, individuals and community are eroded because of unemployment. If the state understands how it feels to be jobless at an individual and family level, then it will lead to crafting an appropriate response to those in dire need. In the face of skills misfits, and lack of knowledge to advance technology, the state can address this problem through an apt intervention rather than just watching the fired workers lose their jobs, spend unemployment checks and lose their homes.


Krulick, A. (2015). “U.S. Unemployment.” America’s Debt Help Organization. Retrieved from
Hudson, P. (2013). “How Unemployment Rates Affect the Economy.” Elite Daily. Retrieved from
Belle, D. & Bullock, H.E. “The Psychological Consequences of Unemployment.” The Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). Retrieved from
Khimm, Suzy (2014). “Unemployed, and heading towards foreclosure.” msnbc. Retrieved from
Koba, M. (2014). “How is monthly jobs report compiled? CNBC explains.” msnbc. Retrieved from

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