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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Few would question that being unemployed is stressful. However, with colleagues at the University of Milano we have discovered that unemployment can actually have a positive effect on health and reduce mortality. That is, if the general unemployment rate is low and it’s not too difficult to find a new job.

Skip to 0 minutes and 24 seconds In these circumstances, losing a job can actually lead people to invest more time in health improving activities like exercising. But this is not the case when the unemployment rate grows and the time you might be out of a job gets longer. In times like these, losing a job or even the fear of losing a job is a much more stressful experience and can lead to cardiovascular or mental disease or even suicide. That’s why we need governments to develop policies that prevent sharp increase in unemployment in time of crises. It could just save someone’s life.

Supporting our well-being

What will happen to the well-being of those in the future who lose in the changing job market?

Well, it seems it will depend on the rate of unemployment, how difficult it is to find a new job and how effective government policy is in preventing sharp increases in unemployment when the time of crisis hits.

In this video, Professor Carmignani explains the research that has been done that supports this and highlights that all is not lost. Unemployment can have a positive impact on one’s health and well-being if the circumstances in the job market are right.

Importantly, we again turn to government policy to consider what can be done to support the next generation by paving the way for a healthy economy and job market that secures their well-being. We will look at this in more detail in the next activity.

Your task

Let us hear your reflections on the above video. Do you know anyone who has faced unemployment or have you, yourself, experienced this? Were there any positive effects on health or were the circumstances in the job market not right for this?

Share your reflections in the comments below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Exploring Economics: Will the Next Generation Be Worse Off?

Griffith University