Loss of one's job called worse than divorce

Douglas McArthur - Workopolis at the Globe and Mail
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Losing your job causes more long-term damage than divorce or widowhood, according to an international team that spent 15 years studying the impact of unemployment on personal happiness.

The researchers found that people who lose their job never return to the same levels of well-being they had enjoyed when previously employed even if they subsequently rejoin the work force, according to Dr. Yannis Georgellis of Britain's Brunel University. Also involved in the project, which involved more than 24,000 out-of-work individuals, were researchers from France, the United States and the Gallup Organization.

Loss of a job, even briefly, scars a person for life, says Dr. Georgellis. The findings contradict the accepted view that unemployment has no long-term ill effects for workers. The study also suggests that workers who lose their jobs may be less motivated to find work in the future or worse, might drop out of the job market altogether.

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