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Statistics Detail the Emotional Toll of Unemployment

Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight analyzes the results of the latest American Time Use Survey and draws conclusions about the ways unemployment sap Americans. Not only do the unemployed possess a higher risk for depression, obesity, and suicide, they also tend to lead more inert lives than their employed counterparts.

What’s the Latest?


The results of the latest American Time Use Survey were released on Wednesday and Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight has the scoop. The government’s data appears to back up societal estimations regarding the emotional welfare of the unemployed — notably, that it’s a struggle. Not only are the unemployed more at risk for depression, obesity, and suicide, they are also more likely to have relatively inert lifestyles. They spend more time sleeping, watching tv, and playing games while their employed counterparts spend more time socializing and relaxing.

What’s the Big Idea?

The unemployed also spend a large chunk of their time trying to become un-unemployed — about 45 minutes a day on average. This includes time spent applying for new jobs or taking classes in pursuit of a degree or certificate. The statistics also cover the plights of more particular demographics: single mothers, the long-term unemployed, the married. Casselman offers a number of insights on each though his overarching conclusion is that the unemployed struggle to get off the couch — though that’s more a metaphor than literal take.

Read more at FiveThirtyEight

Photo credit: baranq / Shutterstock


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