As unemployment is referred to the lack of paid employment opportunities for potential labor force in the context of wage labor. In a broader sense it refers to the absence of other mostly human labor.

  • 4.1 Neo-classical explanation
  • 4.2 Keynesian explanation 4.2.1 Cyclical unemployment
  • 4.2.2 Macroeconomic approaches
  • 8.1 Unemployment and Health
  • 8.2 Consequences for educational decisions


Conceptual history

In German the term unemployment came up with the onset of the economic crisis in the 1890s.

Since the Hartz IV reform on 1 January 2005 in Germany, a worker in the legal sense is valid according to § 16 SGB III as unemployed if he is indeed capable of and willing to work, but still can not find employment. Therefore, only those recorded in the official unemployment statistics, which are reported as "unemployed " at the Federal Employment Agency. The statistics, however, includes all unemployed people who are in an employment with compensation for additional expenditure. To capture the economic unemployment, in addition to the absolute number of all unemployed persons used is usually called unemployment rate, which ( and the dependent labor force) describes the ratio of the unemployed to the sum of all employed persons.

Who is at least 58 years old and at least twelve months Hartz IV refers, without having to get a job offer, valid according to the statistical survey, the Federal Employment Agency, which was introduced in 2008, not as unemployed.

The National Poverty Conference ( nak ) rejects the term " unemployed" from. She took him to the list of " social Unwörter " and suggests, " unemployed " to switch to the term, since there are many non-paid forms of work.

Types of unemployment

The following types of unemployment can be distinguished:

  • Frictional unemployment occurs during the transition from one job to another, is inevitable usually of short duration and even in times of full employment.
  • Seasonal fluctuations arising during the year due to climate conditions (eg, unemployment in agriculture in the winter or in amusement parks ) or due to fluctuations in demand (eg in catering in the low season).
  • Economic fluctuations are a result of changing economy. For lack of outlets dismissed the company workers they hire on the upswing again.
  • Structural unemployment: It is the result of continued structural crises or imbalances between the structure of supply and demand for labor. For structural unemployment include:
  • Characteristic Structural unemployment: The reason here are the differences between the characteristics of the unemployed and the requirements in job vacancies, for example, if the unemployed do not meet the qualification requirements for employment ( mismatch).
  • Sectoral Unemployment: The reasons are here weak growth or shrinkage tendencies in individual economic sectors or industries.
  • Technological unemployment: It is caused by the replacement of workers by machines ( automation). Related investments, such as for the purchase of machinery, soon pay for themselves through higher productivity.
  • Institutional unemployment: unemployment due to labor and social security regulations, such as when a high unemployment provides no incentive to accept a little better paid employment. So led high-wage policy, partly in conjunction with high severance payments, such as in the mining industry, the transition of workers into unemployment for delaying a renewed employment. Also, older workers are better protected by collective agreements in many countries unemployment than younger ones.
  • Regional unemployment: It is caused by the fact that people are unwilling or unable to move to another region in order there to accept a vacancy. Cause of regional unemployment is that there are certain regions in which (partly due to non-existent Studien-/Ausbildungsplätze caused ) an under supply of needed skills there.

As a hard-core unemployment, also called sediment unemployment, the proportion of unemployment is called, which can not be broken even under the most favorable economic conditions. This consists of friktioneller and structural unemployment. Specifically, this group of unemployed includes ie, those at least not immediately find a job and take on the basis of qualifications, age, health status, place of residence or lack of will to work or not.

Since 2008, the volume of solidified unemployment in Germany has decreased. The average duration of unemployment in the Hartz IV system was in August 2011, 71.6 weeks compared with 81.4 weeks in August 2008. Excelled Germany compared to 2007 by a very high proportion of base - or long-term unemployment in the total from unemployment (over 50% ), it is one of the few industrialized countries where this share has fallen to 2011. However, he is still at over 45 %, becoming second only to Ireland. He has risen over this period from about 10 % to about 30 % in the U.S.. Regionally, the solidified unemployment concentrated in Germany to seven regions of North Rhine -Westphalia (of ten regions in total).

Low structural unemployment is, especially in emerging countries.

The term hidden or disguised unemployment refers to the share of unemployment, which is not included in statistics on unemployment. This is understood as primarily a secret reserve, namely the unemployed who are not registered as unemployed with the authorities. The reason for this can for example be that a message to the authorities is kept as unemployed superfluous by those affected, perhaps because they are not entitled to benefits anyway and because they see the mediation of a job by the authorities as unlikely. Often, job seekers are counted in job creation schemes or officially ordered retraining measures, most of which are also not included in the unemployment statistics for the hidden unemployment. In addition, hidden unemployment may also bring that workers do have a job but are underutilized ( See also below working conditions in the GDR ).

The legal definition of unemployment is obtained for Germany from the SGB III. In addition to the temporary unemployment ( ie the lack of a comprehensive at least 15 hours per week employment or self-employment ) yet, the term also unemployment registration at an employment agency. The third condition is the active search for an insurable employment including the availability for the mediation efforts of the labor administration.

Especially since the unemployment in many countries is defined differently, national unemployment statistics are not fully comparable with each other. Workers who are employed, for example, in the Netherlands only 1 hour a week, no longer count as unemployed. In most European countries are therefore two unemployment statistics: One by national and international one by definition. ( See also the article unemployed as to the difference between the number of unemployed and unemployment rate ).

The issue of measurement

The measurement of unemployment presupposes a particular theory of the labor market. The measurement categories thus formed must be seen in relation to the purposes to be fulfilled by the said statistical survey.

Due to the particular changes from 2005 of counting there is still no complete clarity about who is in Germany - is not actually counted as "unemployed" in the statistics and who - according to § 16 SGB III. So unemployed people who at present in a subsidized ABM, work opportunity (eg, " 1- Euro - Job" ), re-training or are in a language course, no longer counted as "unemployed", just as partial retirement renter, transitional allowance recipients, unable to work and short-time workers and unregistered unemployed and those who receive for sanctions, for example, no longer benefits from the BA. Unemployed persons who consider themselves as self-employed only with financial support from the BA over water, now no longer fall into the statistics. At times, people from the so-called '58 - regulation ( § 428 SGB III) were no longer detected.

Impact of education on unemployment

A study by the Austrian Chamber of Labour on May 2008 concludes that " persons with low qualifications (that is, with only compulsory education ), a 2.5 times higher risk of becoming unemployed than people with more training leading. In adolescents, the risk is three times as large. "

Relationship between unemployment and Personality Traits

2005 in the surveys of the SOEP also self-reported the character ( Big Five characteristics ) has been obtained for the unemployed. Increasing duration of unemployment was a result of the self-reported negatively correlated with rigidity / conscientiousness and positively correlated with neuroticism ( inverted for duration of employment ). For extraversion and tolerability no relation to the duration of unemployment was found. Openness was correlated only for female unemployed and workers with migration background negatively with the duration of unemployment.

Economic Theoretical explanations

Neo-classical explanation

According to neoclassical economic theory is permanent, involuntary unemployment is not possible in a free society. Real existing unemployment has its cause therefore in government market restrictions. This increase by compulsory levies for state unemployment funds, minimum wages or other legal regulations, labor costs and so reduce the cash ready demand for labor.

Since unemployment macroeconomic ultimately represents a market imbalance, can according to ( neo) classical view of this are ideally only be detached when it comes to price reductions in the labor market ( So reduce labor costs, ie wages, non-wage labor costs, fixed costs, etc.) or when the labor supply is reduced. Comparisons to different future scenarios, so have a percent less pay between 0.5 and 2 percent more employment consequence. This value is called the elasticity of labor demand.

Thus increased as the industrial workers wages (real labor costs per hour) from 1982 to 2002 in the U.S. by 4%, the Netherlands by 20% and in West Germany including West Berlin by 38%. Accordingly, the volume of work done in the same period in the U.S. by 36% and in the Netherlands by 24 %, while it did not increase in West Germany. Here, however, the effects of very high in the U.S. and in Germany rather low population growth are not removed. The significantly increased as a result of the German unit labor costs play a role.

According to the classical and neoclassical theories of the price mechanism is regarded as compensation on the labor market. According to the employers' organizations that follow this theory, would at an excess supply of labor wages fall until the demand for labor has increased, that is, until supply and demand match. An examination of the thesis is (ie the EU countries without the candidate countries) only possible by comparison of wages and unemployment in the EU's internal market at eliminating the influence of the domestic purchasing power and working hours. These numbers are then, however, to evaluate even in the context of migration (that is, in the EU countries where the wage level is low, there is migration, which apparently reduces unemployment ).

However, the wages or salary costs for unemployment be held responsible for supply-side point of view not only alone. Even government market regulations are said to, they can prevent a balance in the labor market by the emergence of new companies, for example - that hinder instead of shrinking industries, the structural changes - such as the services. Regulations on the labor market can also directly impede job creation.

  • Neoclassical recommendations to combat unemployment are: Reducing wage rigidities (need to pay agreed wages ) by opening clauses in collective agreements that allow for difficulties of the company or of remedies lower wages than provided in the collective agreement. Various collective agreements containing such clauses in recent times, which allow Teilabweichen from the collective labor contract.
  • Wage gap Bid: Unemployment benefits should be such that the inclusion of a low paid job worthwhile.
  • Flexibility of working: with reductions in poor and renewals in good order situation. This would prevent layoffs in the downturn.
  • Reduction of labor market regulations, such as an attenuated protection against dismissal and simplified ways to complete fixed-term contracts.

Keynesian explanation

In contrast, the Keynesian economic theory leads to unemployment or part of unemployment to lack of demand ( for goods and services ) back. The reason is said that the wages and salaries of employees are to be seen not only as a cost of individual entrepreneurs, but also act as purchasing power. This does not ignore the Keynesian view, the income level as an effect on purchasing power. Why have Keynesian theorists (unlike the neoclassical point of view) suggests that the demand for lower wages is a reduction in real purchasing power of mass purchasing power. Therefore, would require the realization of such a claim of compensation of mass purchasing power wastage by an increase in household consumption of entrepreneurs (which would theoretically strengthen the long-term economic growth, but strongly coupled to the expectations of the future ), or an expansion of exports.

The true in individual cases tacit assumption that aggregate demand remains unchanged, is no longer valid if all workers accept a lower wage; because then decreases as the first wage and the wage bill and the consumer demand of the households of employees is expected to decline ( in a first step). But the reduction of wages thus yields no Neuanstellung. Depending on the reduction of the price level and the interest rate, the demand for capital goods is also affected. Also, deflation is inherent to a decrease in the general price level.

Besides leading Keynesian economists a number of other arguments:

  • Experience has shown that wages rigid, ie they do not fall in unemployment. One reason for this may be the collective agreements that define minimum standards that must not be exceeded. Even without such contracts, workers are likely a pay cut oppose much resistance.
  • The reward is not only a market price, but it also sets incentives. It is thus from the perspective of the employer be quite sensible to pay a wage that is above the equilibrium wage, since they are so motivate their employees to higher performance.
  • The reward is the material basis of life of workers dar. sinks wage, so some will increase their labor supply in order to not suffer any loss of income by accepting a second job, for example. The higher offer would require further wage cuts, so that the labor market comes to equilibrium.
  • The labor market is not homogeneous, but regionally and sectorally segmented. Unemployment arises, for example, in just one region, so there would have to decrease wages, while they remain unchanged in regions with full employment. Would then have a migration of labor in the high-wage regions use, or companies moving their production to low-wage region. Are the factors of production but immobile, also eliminate falling wages not unemployment.
  • The labor market is a subordinated market. Workers are not like a normal economic good for the direct satisfaction of a need. Work is derived from the aggregate demand for goods and services. ( See also: purchasing power theory). Classical interpretations of unemployment, which assume that unemployment is due to the fact that the marginal cost of labor are higher than its marginal utility, the demand for goods, however, hide completely.

The unions have long pursued the goal in the labor market balance between supply and demand through a redistribution of existing work (by reduction of working hours, etc. promoting part-time work) to reach. Politics, too, tried in the 1990s to counter on early retirement of youth unemployment. However, the frühverrenteten workers were partially replaced, making the social got into a problematic situation.

Critics from the employer- bearing bear in this policy that they treat labor as a hedonistic good, with a consequent erosion of the work ethic and the motivation to work. For the work ethic is constitutive, that their underlies a meaningful task and that the solution of this problem is connected with the overcoming of internal and external resistances, ie all costs effort and effort. Employment have traditionally gives permission to consumption of goods. Now, if the employment will itself be treated as a hedonistic good which should accordingly be distributed fairly, then the worker could not be more proud of his workload, and then relate his self-esteem, but must now be reversed grateful for the fact that he is allowed to work. With a policy of redistribution of work would also, according to critics, stubborn enforced generally low working hours, without corresponding to the task to be solved and the workers who has to solve them.

Unemployment arises (temporary, cyclical, etc.) by a lack of effective demand, which is why, for example, the Keynesian counter-cyclical fiscal policy to prevent temporary demand deficiency is recommended, while in contrast the Austrian school will boost demand through tax cuts. Variously lack of demand is the long term, eg due to saturation, blamed for unemployment. However, a general, macroeconomic saturation does not conclusively prove, because precisely involuntary unemployment is associated with unmet consumer needs, which means that the total economic production potential is not fully utilized. Therefore it is spoken of a case, on the one hand, the high-income earners hardly able to increase their consumption (ie save a considerable amount ) and on the other hand, the low income earners their consumer desires can not be satisfied ( and therefore often debt )

Cyclical unemployment

Cyclical unemployment is caused by a temporary lack of demand during recessions. To avoid such situations, the policy was trying to compensate for the shortfall in demand through public spending programs in the context of a Keynesian counter-cyclical fiscal policy. This approach has failed, according to some economists in the seventies, but, inter alia, the fact that the politicians were not able to stop the spending programs, when the economic situation improved again. Would be the basic problem in the high wage level or in too low flexibility of the labor market, so spending programs would not cause adequately.

In addition, many economists must be considered that Keynesianism in situations of shortfall in demand, as he appeared about the Black Friday in 1929, fully justified the opinion. Be responsible but rather the supply side for unemployment, as high taxes and wages, the expansion of government demands would be counterproductive.

Sheds further light on the causes of unemployment are the Beveridge curve.

Macroeconomic approaches

Measures to combat unemployment should attach to their causes. As far as wages are rigid, found since the fifties of the last century the idea widespread that higher inflation could help to reduce unemployment. An increase in wages slower than the rate of inflation, it would indeed continue to nominal wage increases, but at a real wage decline, bringing the wage rigidity would be dissolved (so-called Phillips curve ). (Quote by Helmut Schmidt and Bruno Kreisky mid-seventies: "Dear five percent inflation than five percent unemployment ").

For a long time we tried to combat unemployment by the potential labor force ( the potential labor force ) decreased, eg, by an extension of the school (as happened in Germany in the seventies ), early retirement and early retirement, as well - eg in the Netherlands. - a generous scheme to the disability. In the long run, these measures proved but considered too expensive, as early retirement and disability are paid from the social insurance funds, which are financed by contributions from employees. Another approach has been the promotion of part-time employment.

Marxist view

After Marxist conception of society unemployment is necessary for capitalism and its necessary concomitants provides a; they do is caused by the constraint of achieving maximum added value. The working volume is dependent on various factors such as the number of workers and the working hours. According to Marx, a worker only receives necessary for its reproduction remuneration. Therefore, it may be useful to have work very much a part of the workers and to expel another part of the production process. For a non-uniform distribution of the reduction in the volume of work that is followed by an increase in unemployment.

The unemployed are the " industrial reserve army ", to which capital can be accessed at any time if it needs it: " It is therefore as much tendency of capital to increase the working population as a part of the same stable as the surplus population - the population initially useless is, until the capital can exploit them. " However, this theory can be made ​​no statement about the necessary or actual level of unemployment or derive whether full employment would be possible if one allowed for this.

The competition of entrepreneurs with each other forces the individual capitalists to increase their productive power: " The greater productivity of labor is expressed in it from that capital has less to buy necessary work to create the same value and larger quantities of use values ​​, or that lower necessary labor creates the same exchange value, recycled more material, and use a larger mass values ​​. [ ... ] You will get this at the same time so that a lesser amount of work requires a greater amount of capital in motion. " Rationalization and discipline in the working sector and technological advances allow: " The additional capitals formed in the course of normal accumulation preferably serve as a vehicle for exploitation new inventions and discoveries ever industrial perfections. But also the old capital reached over time the moment when there is a technically modernized form, in which a lower mass enough work to put a greater mass of machinery and raw materials in motion. So ... On the one hand pulls the grant capital formed in the course of accumulation, proportionate to its size, fewer and fewer workers to. On the other hand pushes the periodically reproduced in a new composition ancient capital more and more earlier by him employed workers. " " In the same proportion, therefore, as the capitalist mode of production develops, the possibility of a relatively SUPERNUMERARY working population developed, not because the productive power of social labor decreases, but because it increases, not out of an absolute mismatch between labor and means of subsistence, or agents for production of these means of subsistence, but from an imbalance, arising from the capitalist exploitation of labor, the mismatch between the increasing growth of capital and its relatively decreasing need by a growing population. "

In capitalism is thus a "permanent apparent Arbeiterübervölkerung. " Inherent in the system, because capital needs as much work in order to produce as much as possible (ie must have a constant access to surplus labor ) and at the same time need to buy as little work. The industrial reserve army is in Marx - in contrast to Malthus, fierce polemic against Marx - no "absolute", that is, is demographically justified overpopulation; if it were simply an overpopulation relative to the current needs of capitalist exploitation. In the period of recovery the industrial reserve army take off, in times of crisis or lulls she may rise against it strongly. In the long run, however, grow " the laboring population always faster [ ... ] as the recovery needs of capital," what Marx referred to as the "law of the progressive decrease in the relative amount of variable capital ".

The unemployed also form a means of pressure against the workers by being the competition for the working population. You can for example be set in place of strikers.

In capitalism applies according to Marx: The greater the wealth, the higher the productive forces, the more unemployment: " The greater the social wealth, the functioning capital, the extent and energy of its growth, ie, the absolute size of the proletariat and the productiveness of his labor, the larger the army of unemployed. The all -purpose work force is developed by the same causes as the expansive power of capital. The relative size of the industrial reserve army increases therefore with the powers of wealth. The larger this army of unemployed relative to the active labor-army, the more massive the chronic overpopulation workers, whose misery is in inverse proportion to their agony of toil. The larger finally the arms layer in the working class and the industrial reserve army, the greater is the official number of the poor. This is the absolute general law of capitalist accumulation. "

"It is in the nature of capital, to revise a portion of the working population and to impoverish another. "

Technical progress

Are often cited as causes of unemployment, global competition between workers, outsourcing or globalization in general, and technological progress. Some reformers, the thesis that a major structural reason for the mass unemployment lies in technological progress, which have reduced the need for living human labor-power dramatically and will be further reduced. The times in which the number of newly created during an economic upswing jobs was greater than the number of previously destroyed by rationalizing jobs (or at least equal ), was since the mid- seventies or since the end of the classic industrial age, the labor-intensive industries was coined over. Spontaneously the number of jobs would fall below the line since that time. In favor of this hypothesis can be named, among others, the statistical indicator that the volume of work since the mid- 1970s, in which the automation and information technology to make huge progress (so-called Digital Revolution), despite significantly increasing parallel value actually fallen steadily. The working volume per capita in Germany is like 1960-2010 to 30 percent.

In particular, however, the fact that employment is socially increasingly treated as an end in itself, is a clear indication that the work society is fundamental in crisis and that the crisis is predominantly, from employment as a normal model of social existence in the modern not being able to say goodbye. In fact, the employment is used politically in different ways under the arms, for example by lowering non-wage labor costs, which amounts to subsidizing employment or living human labor compared with machine solutions. In many sectors (including services) also lie dormant great potential for rationalization, which can not be fully exploited by the entrepreneurs because they are both still tied to the role of the employer. You have to wait defensively with the use of rationalization potentials until they can make the public plausible that without rationalization corporate existence is at stake.

According to the U.S. economist Jeremy Rifkin believes that the work is long-term by the digital revolution disappear:

" In the long term the work will disappear. [...] We are in the midst of a revolution that surpasses the industrial revolution. [ ... ] The computer and information technology of today make more and more people completely superfluous. Even the cheapest human labor is more expensive than the machine. "

Richard Buckminster Fuller noted in his book Critical Path (1981 ): Unemployment is based directly on the technical possibility of ephemerization. Similarly, Norbert Wiener expresses, a co-founder of cybernetics, who pointed out in 1947 that the progress in computer technology will trigger mass unemployment.

The French social philosopher André Gorz also says that for centuries more and more work will be taken over by machines. The effected thereby increase productivity leads to the fact that even with increasing production less manpower is needed. The idea of ​​full employment will an illusion. Therefore Gorz in favor of a basic income, which allows to live without working. Everyone get a monetary basis, to realize himself.

Labor market policy

→ Main article: Labour Market Policy

Working conditions in the GDR

While market economies sometimes have lower, sometimes higher unemployment, prevailed in the central planned economies before the collapse of full employment. This full employment has been questioned by various researchers with an indication that some of the employees "actually" were not economically needed or working would not be completely filled. It must be considered that full employment enjoyed political priority and the human right under Article 23 of the UN Human Rights Charter - was guaranteed the right to work in the Constitution ( Article 24). This allows a pure market-based view of their situation only to realize limited, there are indications for the elimination of unemployment: Since it has been assumed at market-based view is that work was not completely filled with production performing, working time could be shorter if the working time by the unused time would have been shortened. On the costs, prices and wages by the fact would have changed nothing.

In the spring of 1990 - before reunification - dealt the Ifo Institute for Economic Research on productivity in the GDR and published his studies under the title " Hidden Unemployment in the GDR." In the study, the data will not be backed up as statistically referred (page 1). From the data used, it was concluded that the work was not fully exploited ( 15% to 30%). This was interpreted to mean that in the GDR measured with unchanged working to the standards of a market economy would "actually" ruled an unemployment rate of just these 15% to 30 %. After 1990, continuing large firms reduced their workforce often by 90 %, which was due mainly to the drop in demand, however, which caused the loss of their former trading partners in the socialist countries.

Economic consequences of unemployment

Another aspect is the overall economic costs of unemployment. The total expenditure for the support of the unemployed by the Federal Employment Agency, whose support to 2010 (as at 13 November 2009) by the federal budget and expenditure on basic security amount to approximately € 95.18 billion. This amount is made up of the achievements of the Federal Employment Agency ( € 54.08 billion) and the expenses from the federal budget for basic security ( € 41.1 billion). In addition, the Federal Employment Agency must be subsidized with € 16 billion by the federal budget. The above figures are planning designs of the competent authorities from 2009, due to the very positive first half of 2010 is expected from a reduction of the actual cost, as improved economic outlook and falling unemployment shrink the financial requirements.

The opportunity cost of lost benefits, which result from unemployment must be taken into account. For every unemployed could - provided jobs - contribute with its work force to increase the economic income. The production potential, as well as the gross domestic product could therefore be substantially higher. Thus, each additional unemployed is a double exposure, on the one hand takes this not more of the funding of social security contributions ( long term care insurance, pension fund, etc.) with the other hand he relates these benefits from the date of unemployment.

High unemployment may reduce the political stability of a country and its society. Negative influences are, inter alia, increasing social costs and thus higher tax pressure, partially decreasing solidarity of the social and educational strata and some growth of political extremism.

Individual consequences of long-term unemployment

Possible individual consequences of unemployment, especially long-term unemployment, mental health problems and, de-skilling ( devaluation of previously acquired skills ), social and cultural isolation and impoverishment. In many cases, the also affects the following generations, for the children of the unemployed have less chance to grow up mentally and physically healthy.

Work is a psychosocial stabilization factor for many people and governs daily structure and the social environment. While in poorer countries even today the material poverty is the main event of unemployment, there are, in the opinion of politicians in the Federal Republic of Germany today, especially the psycho- social impact of unemployment. However, there are complaints that the material situation in Germany had deteriorated again in recent times.

The potential psychological consequences include hopelessness, self-doubt and resignation. Since the personal success and social recognition are highly dependent on professional achievements, missing the unemployed person the confirmation of his environment. In addition, it is criticized that as a result of the political side in the media discharged " laziness debates " a climate is created that favors discrimination against the unemployed.

More affected are older unemployed who had for years accustomed to a steady job structure and single men who are prone to increased isolation. Consequences can be depression, addictions and increased by hopelessness and suicidal ideation life displeasure. So it may come to the demolition of social contacts. Especially with young people, unemployment is questionable, since they so lack a means of identity development.

High unemployment can also affect the workers who work. The fear of job loss creates a strong psychological pressure. Therefore, jobs are also changed so often because of the associated risk and one remains in a safe activity, even if it makes you sick and depressed one ( eg due to bullying ).

Unemployment and Health

The Robert Koch Institute found that unemployed people have poorer health than professionals:

Also, the health-conscious behavior is less, but here is a gender difference shows how the example illustrates Smoking:

The evaluation of current health data shows:

  • Unemployed men spend more than twice as many days in the hospital as professional men
  • Unemployed women spend 1.7 times as many days in the hospital as working women.
  • The mortality rate increases continuously as a function of the preceding unemployment duration.
  • Evidence was found that unemployment has a causal effect on the development of diseases.

However, in studies of this kind, the causality is often uncertain. Thus, it was also stated by the respondents that unemployment was caused by their limited ability to health or the health already caused by employment.

For people with more than 2 years of unemployment, the mortality risk increases 3.8 times facing people in employment. Under the unemployment psyche suffers often stronger than the body. 2006, a U.S. study over 10 years from the representative U.S. Health and Retirement Survey ( HRS) on the risk of myocardial infarction has been published. Were specifically considered unemployed 51-61 who became unemployed after their 50th birthday. It was found empirically that independent of other factors ( such as smoking, obesity and diabetes) unemployed a 2.5 times higher risk of strokes and heart attacks succumb as working peers.

Other studies show that women from a health perspective consequences of unemployment cope better than men. So is also evident in West Germany the highest life expectancy in women who had at least one month credit period for unemployment or illness. For women there are in addition to the employment other positive alternatives to the way of life, so that periods of unemployment do not have a negative impact on the health and thus on life expectancy. Furthermore, periods of unemployment among women often fall in a timely manner with pregnancy and parental leave together, so that the periods of unemployment fall into a "positive" context.

Children of unemployed parents are in their intellectual development and their linguistic development of disadvantaged you react to the unemployment often with discouragement and resignation, deterioration of concentration, behavioral problems, and emotional instability.

See also: Social health inequalities

Consequences for educational decisions

Unemployment of parents deteriorates the educational opportunities of children. However, unemployment has negative consequences almost only with less educated parents. More important is the cultural capital. More educated parents are obviously better able to compensate for the problems associated with this.