Negative Effects Of Unemployment In South Africa

What are the adverse effects of unemployment?

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You could probably write a book about the adverse effects of unemployment in a capitalistic society. What drives the machine of capitalism? It is a demand for goods and services and a return on investment, isn't it? If people are unemployed, production of goods and provision of services falls off, and simultaneously, the people who are unemployed lack the wherewithal to purchase goods and services. People who still have money, investors, are reluctant to invest any money in the production of goods or the provision of services because when production and consumption are down, there is no opportunity to get a return on the investment. 

Effects of unemployment are social, too, not just economic.  Frequently, crime rates rise as people are unable to meet their needs through work. Divorce rates often rise because people cannot solve their financial problems.  The rate of homelessness rises, as do the rates for mental and physical illness.  Homes are foreclosed upon or abandoned, and neighborhoods deteriorate as a result. 

The ability of government to provide for people is also seriously compromised.  When there is high unemployment, people pay less in income taxes and also pay less in sales taxes because they purchase fewer goods and services.  This leads to less in the way of public services, which includes everything from police and fire protection to the staffing for the municipal swimming pool and rubbish pickup. 

As you can see, unemployment is not a good thing for anyone in our society, and even the people who remain employed will suffer as a result. 

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many negative effects in unemployment on both personal and social levels.  In the realm of the former, the person who loses their job can feel a depreciating value of self worth.  In a situation where a job is absent, even if one quits it, there is a feeling of questioning one's decision making abilities or self doubt.  The other impact is the financial one.  One of the adverse effects of unemployment is that there is a natural loss of income.  There is a natural feel and greater level of anxiety about how that missing income is going to be compensated.  Over a prolonged period of time, this can become quite problematic.  Families endure greater struggle when a member is unemployed.  Children don't often understand why this is the case and recalibration of how they live their lives are in order.  In cases that are becoming all to common, families must downsize their home and move.  This causes an inordinate amount of stress to children's psychological, physiological, and educational well beings.  The disruptive element of unemployment can leave tremendously powerful scars on a child's psyche.

On a social level, unemployment causes a greater reliance on government assistance.  This increases economic stress on social programs as well as on taxpayers.  This can also cause a great deal of social stress in terms of questioning job status on a mass scales, which can trigger a drop in consumer spending causing less economic growth.

lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unemployment has many negative effects on an individual and his or her family; additionally, if unemployment percentages continue to rise, the effect can quickly become an unpleasant cycle for the economy.  A very simplistic example:  John Smith loses his job, cuts back his spending in every area, including wants (eating out, movies, trips to the amusement park) and even needs (shoes for his kids, or even meat for meals at home).  If John is one of several thousand who were laid off in a community, and they're all cutting back spending in the same way he is, soon the local grocery stores, restaurants, cinemas, department stores, etc will begin to register fewer profits.  A trend like that, allowed to continue, might lead to layoffs in the stores, restaurants, cinemas, etc, and the cycle will begin anew.  For an economy, local or national, to thrive, people must be spending money, and for people to spend money, they need to be employed. 

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For an individual who is used to working, unemployment can be devastating. The lack of income is the most tangible effect of unemployment. Another significant effect is the loss of one's career identity. People become accustomed to the routine of getting up, getting dressed in working clothes, and going to the workplace. When this is removed from one's life, it can spur clinical depression. Ironically, a depressed person is less likely to pursue the challenge of finding new employment as aggressively. In the United States, we are what we work; when we don't have work, we feel the loss of identity.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The depth of fear, desperation, and hopeless that can result from losing one's income cannot be overstated. It can become overwhelming, especially for a family breadwinner. In recent months, the news has included stories of those who have committed suicide as a result of these feelings. Tragically, there have been instances in which a head of household has murdered his entire family as a result of overwhelming economic pressures. These people may well have been very troubled to begin with, but it was impending financial disaster that pushed them over the edge.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unemployment has many adverse effects. First of all, it can be very damaging to the individual. Say for example there is a very hard working who man who has always provided for his family. He loses his job and is suddenly unable to do so. This can be damaging to one's self esteem. In addition, when people are out of work they can no longer afford to purchase things they normally would. This can be damaging to the economy.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
One of the worst adverse effects of unemployment is that a person who is unemployed has a very hard time getting hired. Companies want to hire people who already have jobs. So out of work individuals end up taking part time jobs beneath their skill level to stay employed.
nishu2766 | Student

Unemployment is harmful to the society in many ways. Some of the bad effects of unemployment are given below:(i) Loss of Valuable Human Resources.(ii) Increase in Poverty.(iii) Unemployment is Demoralizing.(iv) Unemployment Gives Rise to Social Problems.(v) Unemployment May Create Political Instability.(vi) Exploitation of Labour.

kevin0001 | Student

There are a lot of adverse effects of unemployment. One effect is that you will no longer have any income. If the unemployment continues, then in the future, you will no longer have any money and will become homeless. The second effect would be mental health because you would be used to the work but now since you don't have the job anymore,  it wouldn't be useful. Your social life might be different because now people will see you as a person who has no job and no income. The last effect would be survival. With no money, there would be no way you can continue with out any food, water , and other items needed to survive life.

crystaltu001 | Student

Unemployment has many bad effects. Some people end up homeless because they lost they're job and can not pay for they're houses or their bills. Depression is also caused by unemployment because people have nothing else to do since they have no jobs. It can also impact your health is you can't pay for insurance, doctor fee, and food.

there are alot of effects of unemployment which may lead to:

1. poverty because there is no income

2. becoming demoral 

3. impact on health for not being able to have enough money to go to the doctor, and pay for medications, food etc..

4. it may also impact people's mentality by becoming more depressed

arrellbelle | Student

In the long run, long term unemployment may result in the following:

  1. Decrease in income, obviously, without work there is no pay.
  2. If unemployment continues to rise, many companies lose precious workers, and this may result in the company shutting down.
  3. This may also lead to damages within one's social life, such as a divorce, loss of friendships, and loss of contact to the outside world.
jimfc | Student

In reply to "GetReal" #16:

...great response. Besides all the negativity that flows from having no
income; how can one survive in such a state without having some detrimental
effect on their self-esteem? Some could but many may not. For many that don't have real property, income from jobs frequently provides not only an identity but
a measurable personal value received through work. I've seen the house across the street abondoned; owner just picked up and left....couldn't pay their mortgage. How could this Not be looked upon as trajic?

..hope the economy.....changes, and soon.....for the better.

patelmilia98 | Student

it is bad because the depression causes everything to turn out to be a low economy

getreal | Student
What are the adverse effects of unemployment?

What are the adverse effects of unemployment?

Some of the obvious is no money coming in.Unless they are getting an unemployment check,which would not last long. A person could become depressed. They could loose a sence of self-worth. They could become hopeles,after time they  could become unmotivated and give up on trying to get a job. They could feel useless and helpless. They could turn to illegal ways to make money.They could loose their house and possessions.

cheezea | Student

Unemployment = no income.

The man will be unable to afford what he needs and might lead to poverty. Food and housing becomes a problem and he may have to sleep on the streets. His family may suffer too. The children cannot go to school, and are hence uneducated = difficult to find a well paying job in the future = their families suffer too. Leads to the cycle of poverty. Some may even kick the bucket without an income :(

shrispy | Student

It is obivious that unemployment like a spear in country's economy & hampersits progress . Moreover it leads to poverty . The whole family suffers if a man is unemployed.

kukarad70 | Student

Unemployment gives bitter pain to anyone who doesn't have enough sources of income. Life will be miserable and days will pass with sadness. Family member even though will start thinking burden to own family member who is weaker in earning. There will be no respect and hunger will take the room for pitfalls. Thoughts and interests go down. Persons will be intolerable with everyday's biting problems. The life starts roaming into the chaos and starvation.

The attitude of the person starts to seek the way for criminalization. There will be the birth of terror and horror. Unemployment is the starting point of breaking rules and regulations and the cause of creating mussle show environment. The resources for Strike, Revolution and rule change along with devoting oneself in unproductive activities all will occupy in human mind because the people will be courageous to tackle any kind of situation whether this is bad or good. So that, unemployment is not making good mentality in anyone which brings in the society instability. Therefore, I could say these reasons could invite adverse effects in everyday life.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Unemployment has adverse effect on the individual unemployed as well as the whole economy.

Loss of income and the resulting hardships to the individual and his or her family is the most obvious and direct effect of unemployment. In addition the unemployed person also suffers from loss of self respect and dignity. Unemployed individuals also feel a sense of insecurity even if they have enough financial resources to tide over the period of unemployment.

The biggest adverse effect of unemployment on the society or the economy is the loss of production that the unemployed persons could have given. Also, unemployment results in higher rates of crime in the society.

Unemployment also means that people have less money to pay income tax on and less money to buy goods and services. Thus the tax collection by government goes down due to unemployment. Industries producing goods and services also suffer because of unemployment as the sale of their products shrinks.

devanil | Student

To my mind effects of unemployment are very negative,in the first place the person who has lost a  job has many hurdles to clear,such as providing for self and family {if he has one},secondly to-look for another job or some gainful occupation,all this in an environment of insecurity, low levels of confidence.he or she may accept a not so satisfying placement but would take on for the sake of keeping the home fires on.

Anil Dev




epollock | Student

Unemployment can be a great motivator to turn to non-legal and non-authorized means to receive benefits for someone and/or their family. It can have detrimental effects for not only the individual but for their local community as a whole.

daskalos | Student

In a real world setting it means you do not eat.  However, in our country that is not necessarily the fact.  Some sociologist would say that man is jusitfied by the work performed.  It is the essence and ego of the person.    Some might say it is a means to an end or the road traveled to reach a destination.

I can tell you you what it means to me.  It means the lack of security for me and my family.  It means I may have to admit that I cannot provide for my family.  It deminnises my ego and confidence.  Of course all of this depends on many factors: how long had I been working, what was my expectation of the job from the begining, what are the possibilities of finding work in the near future, how much have I set aside for just a situation.  The factors are just too many to list.  I do know this, the longer you accept handouts the less you look for work and the less productive you become.

I believe Miles Standish had it right when he put forth the rule in Plymoth Colony, that if you do not work you do not eat.  Too many people today depend on other to support them.  Just liik at Europe.