The Trauma Of Unemployment

This is an interesting post about a new study tracking the attitudes of people who have lost jobs in the Great Recession. You can click the link to get to the original data, but it’s distilled nicely here, where the authors have divided the results into several different categories:

  • Workers who have MADE IT BACK consider themselves in excellent, good, or fair financial shape and have experienced no change in their standard of living due to the recession.
  • People ON THEIR WAY BACK have largely experienced a minor change to their standard of living, but say the change is temporary. They also consider themselves in excellent, good, or fair financial shape.
  • Workers who have been DOWNSIZED meet one of three conditions; they have experienced: a minor change that is permanent; a minor change that is temporary, but they are in poor financial shape; or a major change in their standard of living that is temporary and they are in at least fair financial shape.
  • Workers classified as DEVASTATED have experienced a major change to their lifestyle due to the recession. They can be either in poor financial shape and think the change is temporary, or in fair financial shape but think this change is permanent.
  • Workers that have been TOTALLY WRECKED by this recession have experienced a major change to their lifestyle that is permanent and are in poor financial shape.

Check out the numbers:

This entire society is going to be reeling from that for a long time to come. All that lost value, hope and ambition aren’t going to just automatically return. People’s lives are permanently changed by this sort of cataclysm, they don’t see the world the same way anymore. Risk, in particular, has a very different character to people who’ve been down and out.

And a lot of people who never expected it have been down and out for a long time now:

No wonder they feel totally wrecked.

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