Positive and negative effects of unemployment

Unemployment is a scourge, and that is a fact. There are sections of society that reel under the effects of unemployment and while it used to be said earlier on that one of the reasons for unemployment was primarily low education, which no longer happens to be the case. Unemployment today is prevalent in most countries and across all continents except for Arctic and Antarctica. And given the spurt in human population, it is but natural for the unemployment figures to climb even higher and for competition for the few jobs to become more intense. This is why it is important that we take a closer look at unemployment and some of its positive and negative effects.

Positive and negative effects of unemployment

Positive effects of unemployment:

  • More free time: It is hard to think of something positive to say about unemployment but the fact is that an unemployed person can spend more time with his family. It is a fact that as a society we have indeed become more insular over the ages; it is nice to see some of the people spend time with their respective families. Granted that it is not their choice to do so but it is nevertheless a welcome change.
  • Avoid morning commute: One of the positive effects, if you can call it that, of unemployment is that you can give the morning commute a miss. It has to be said that one of the hardest parts of any job is commuting to work over long distances and one of the ‘perks’ of unemployment is that you would not be required to commute anywhere.

Negative effects of unemployment:

  • Not enough money: One of the downsides to unemployment is that you never have enough money for anything. If you are lucky enough to live in a country that has its own welfare system, then you can look forward to a low weekly or bi-weekly payout. But the pay will not be much; it will be minimal at best and you would have to make do without most of your home comforts; chances are that you could already end up living in the streets, without a shelter.
  • Health: No one looks forward to unemployment; enough dioramas have been made on the same. The fact is that once you become unemployed, you no longer have the security blanket, and may well end up on the streets and you may even have to beg others for your next meal. And your health is going to go for a toss; unless you are enrolled in one of the medical welfare programs, you would not have the means or the luxury of taking care of your health and yourself. Eventually, your health is going to take a turn for the worse as well.
  • Economic issues: Each and every government is duty bound to take care of all its citizens and that includes the vast ranks of unemployed. Often, when you are unemployed for long, the government has to step in which they do through various welfare programs. This can increase the burden on the government of the day and may well push it into a debt trap as well.
  • Social issues: While those who are unemployed face severe stigma associated with their current situation, the fact that this can be psychologically debilitating. You may find it hard to believe that your friends and even family can turn away from you but they can and they will. This can often propel you to turn to a life of crime, where you make the decision to commit a crime for money. You may have wanted honest work and since you weren’t getting any, you may make the rationalization that it is perfectly okay to turn to a life of crime. It is not, and eventually, someone is going to get hurt and leave you scarred for life. Some of the unemployed often turn to a life of crime for the reasons listed above.

These are some of the positive and negative effects of unemployment. And unless there is sufficient agreement between various member nations on how to tackle this problem, the issue of unemployment is going to get much worse. With so many going unemployed and begging on the streets, perhaps it is time that the governments did something more constructive and enabled these unemployed to find employment again so that they can hold up their heads up high. After all, it is always better to teach a man to fish than to feed him the same.

Travis King

Travis King is an experienced writer and our editor-in-chief.PNI's goal is to publish high-quality, educational content covering everything from history to current events.
Travis King

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