While the unemployment situation seems to be getting better nationwide, there are still millions who are out of work or underemployed in the wake of one of the worst recessions our nation has seen in decades. Unsurprisingly, a lot of research has been done on unemployment and its effects on the unemployed, but the findings aren’t always what you’d expect. While some of those out of work will find jobs and reenter the workforce, research suggests that the effects of unemployment can extend for decades, harming future earning power, success, and even the livelihoods of the children of those who are unemployed. Here we highlight some of the most telling, shocking, and interesting studies done on the unemployed, which demonstrate that finding work isn’t easy nor is shaking the effect unemployment, even temporary, can have on an individual’s career, personal life, and financial security for the rest of their lives.
While some have a great deal of sympathy for the unemployed, just as many are quick to point out how those collecting unemployment are simply leeching off of all of those who still have jobs while enjoying an undeserved break from work. Cruel, yes, but research suggests that it’s also very much untrue. A study done by Congress’ Joint Economic Committee found that beneficiaries of unemployment benefits actually spend more time actively searching for work than those who are ineligible for the benefits. The results make sense, if you think about it. UI benefits require that recipients look for work and also provide some support that allows the flexibility required to really put effort into finding a job.