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HomeLatest NewsA double scourge: how unemployment and precariousness affect mental health

A double scourge: how unemployment and precariousness affect mental health

Date: April 21, 2024 Time: 21:34:57

In Spain there are a total of 932,400 households in which all their members are unemployed, according to the latest Active Population Survey (EPA). With data from the fourth quarter of last year, there are also 1.07 million people who had been searching for a job for more than a year without success, who are considered long-term unemployed. Both make up the dark side of a labor market that has proven resilient, despite global uncertainty, the cooling of the economy or the rise in interest rates. The statistics that speak of record membership levels do not represent them and the consequences of the situation in which they live go beyond the economic and the difficulties of developing a vital project, transcending the field of health.

Mental health problems such as anxiety and depression affect around 75 million people in Europe and around 8 million people in Spain, according to the latest edition of the Global Burden of Disease, and these occur more frequently among the population. . of working age. However, the situation differs depending on job prospects. In the case of employed people, the rate of mood disorders is around 5.7%, practically half that registered among the unemployed (11.5%) or the inactive (11.8%).

It is one of the main conclusions included in number 38 of ‘Social Panorama’, a publication edited by the Savings Banks Foundation (Funcas). A research carried out by Aroa Tejero and Sigita Doclyte shows how among employees with permanent contracts the rate of mental disorders is lower (12%) than among those with temporary contracts (between 14% and 15%, depending on the duration of these). The rate is even higher in the case of those who have a sporadic job (17%).

Mental health, employment bias and gender bias

The type of day can also be a breeding ground for this type of disorder and, in this case, the gender bias is evident. Thus, among part-time employees the rate of mental disorders even reaches 16%, according to the same article. The added problem is that this formula has become, in fact, one of the main causes of the wage gap and a source of precariousness, given that of the 2.87 million people employed part-time, practically 74 % are women, according to the latest EPA.

They are forced to use this formula due to the impossibility of reconciling their work and personal lives. The unequal distribution of care and domestic responsibilities continues to be a reality, so much so that 88% of the people who have had to opt for this type of contract to be able to care for their children or dependents in their care are women, compared to one case 12% of men.

In this case, the deterioration of mental health is not only due to the effort involved in trying to make both realities compatible, work and family, but also to the fact that the benefits associated with this type of work day may be insufficient to guarantee . optimal standards of well-being, or frustration derived from a job that does not adapt to personal expectations, level of education, training or knowledge, as warned by the National Institute of Safety and Health at Work (INSST).

In this type of workers, symptoms and other signs compatible with deterioration of mental health are observed, such as sleeping problems, fatigue, poor appetite, weakness… In this sense, the INSTT confirms that this type of symptoms is more common in women . , among those over 50 years of age, among those who do not have a formalized contract, among part-time workers and those who have a continuous night shift.

The example of the financial crisis and the collapse of construction

Long-term unemployment is another cause of mental disorders, as the last financial crisis demonstrated. The collapse of the construction sector pushed many of its employees out of the labor market for prolonged periods of time. An analysis of National Health Surveys showed that these people saw their mental health worsen significantly. “The burden of these mental disorders is so great that it could even have slowed down the recovery of the Spanish economy as a whole,” maintains a report published by The Social Observatory of the La Caixa Foundation.

The work, which was published just before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, explains how between 2006 – just before the brick ‘bubble’ burst – and 2011, each time the unemployment rate in construction increased by 10 percentage points , mental disorders related to workers expelled from the sector increased by around 3 points.

In an economy highly dependent on construction, getting out of unemployment becomes a practically impossible mission for millions of people. Thus, if in 2006, 2% of the active population had been unemployed for more than 2 years, in 2011, this group had almost quadrupled to almost 8%. In the sector, the incidence of long-term unemployment multiplied by eighteen in those years. The long-term unemployed reached 1.8% of the entire active population in 2011.

After a major crisis, it takes longer to find a job and mental problems have the necessary time to emerge and consolidate, the research explains. On the other hand, in conditions of economic stability, finding a job costs less, which mitigates the effects on mental health. The vast majority of construction workers who lost their jobs early in the financial crisis did not find another job until much later. Others are still unemployed.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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