Negative Effects Of Unemployment In South Africa

What are the adverse effects of unemployment?

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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.
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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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