The Human Cost of Unemployment

October 6, 2016

Being a Capricorn, work and thinking about it takes about a large slice of my waking hours. Yet I cannot remember a time when I actually wanted a full time job with a boss.

I have had a wide range of work experiences. Some of the things including writing and doing psychic readings are my passions and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE doing them. In fact, when I do not do a tea leaf reading or tarot reading for even a couple of days, I feel agitated and restless. Something is not flowing freely in my life.

Being self-employed is the way my world works. I ha, ve never done well with a boss because I usually find myself thinking that I could do her or his job better. The boss picks up on this and my days are numbered. Bosses do not want to be challenged by their staff.

For this reason, I think a guaranteed annual income would be a better way for people to prosper. Everyone could count on a minimum guaranteed income whether they were employed, unemployed or self-employed. When it comes to work people could decide how they prefer it or not and adjust their lifestyles accordingly. People could choose to do what they are passionate about.

It seems to mep that a country like Canada, for instance, with all of our abundance should be able to figure out how all of our citizens can tap into it and be happy about what they do.

The following book review looks at how unemployment can negatively affect us. Lack of a guaranteed annual income that deters people who want to be self-employed and work with their passion(s), I highly suggest, has a lot of negative costs to many, or maybe all of us, as well:


August 1984

The Human Costs of Unemployment

by Tanya Lester

Unemployment: Its Impact on Body and Soul. Prepared by Sharon Kirsh, Ph.d. for the Canadian Mental Health Association, 1983.  128 pp. $10.00 plus $1.50 handling charges.

.depression .anxiety .self-deprecation.fatalism.anger. .spouse abuse. insomnia. infant mortality. weight loss or obesity. suicide. mental hospital admissions. homicides and rape. property crimes. youth alienation. children`s problems in school. divorce.rapid breathing. poverty-induced consequences.alcoholism. fatique. ulcers. fainting spells. hard drug abuse.tobacco abuse. caffeine abuse. muscle tension. heart disease

This publication discusses a societal problem that can cause all the heinous side effects listed above. It deals with the human costs of the impact of unemployment and the resultant poverty and does it well.

What does Unemployment: Its Impact on Body and Soul say to and about womenÉ

To begin with, it says:

. poverty among families would increase by 51 per cent if women’s earnings were deducted from the total family income.

. the unemployment rate among female heads of households (lone employed mothers) is 65 per cent greater than for male heads of households.

Given the fact that, as this publication estimates, women represent 45 per cent of the labour force, it asks what should be an often asked question: “Why don’t we hear more about female workers and their responses?”

Because this question is still very rarely asked, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) must be commended for both asking it and offering an answer. `With some notable exceptions, studies of unemployed persons concern themselves with the experiences of male workers,` the publication spells out. `The married female is relegated (in traditional research) to the role of the spouse who astalwartly supports her mate throughout his trauma of job loss, or who withdraws her support from him, thereby undermining his self-esteem, or who is victimized by his frustration through abuse. Rarely are women acknowledged as workers either as unpaid workers in the home or as paid workers in the labour force.`

However, the publication points out the strong relationship between unemployment and women`s depression. Findings show that employed married women are less depressed than non-employed married women and both groups are more depressed than employed men: and that women with unemployed partners have higher rates of depression due to their spouses` joblessness.

It also recognizes that when women are employed in the labour force, they most often occupy ~low-paying, non-unionized, insecure, and often part-time and temporary jobs. We are accepted into the paid labour force when there are many jobs that need to be filled, for example, during World War II, and ~blamed for the high unemployment rate` when jobs are few. During economic recession: we ~are likely to get squeezed out oft the labour market altogether, or to be pushed into part-time, low-paying positions as part of the vast unemployment army of labour."

But there are reasons why women do not find full, decent employment in both bad and good economic times. The CMHA does not specifically address these problems in this document although it does acknowledge that child care, for instance, is still perceived to be women`s responsibility.

While the CMHA must be applauded for advocating the vital need for further studies to be made on unemployment and women workers, it falls short of suggesting who should be responsible for doing these studies.

Unemployment: Its Impact on Body and Soul also addresses the links between unemployment and violence against women. It emphasizes the fact that sexual assault is not a sex crime but a crime of anger. “The majority of men who rape women are unemployed and cannot maintain sati.sfactory sexual self-images,” the document states. “Their source of power is their physical force. They likely feel powerless in other aspects of their lives (e.g. no jobs; cannot provide adequately for family; etc.)”

The publication quotes an article by A. Wolberg that estimates 24 million women in the United States were battered in 1978 while 200 thousand children were killed by batterers in the same year. “Battering is not confined to the `working class` but is found in all classes,” the publication quotes this article. “It increases, however with unemployment, or dips in the economy during recessions, which affect not only the working class, the white collar class, but the upper middle class as well.”

I was relieved to read that the CMHA understands batterers are not only members of the working class, because I know men of all classes inflict violence against women, but I would have felt more comfortable if the CMHA had emphasized that men who inflict violence on women should not be excused on the basis of their unemployment or for any other reason.

Besides presenting the problems of all types of unemployed people, this publication provides progressive solutions to joblessness aimed at “global, national, and provincial policy; community action; the family and the individual.”

This document was published “not only for the sake of the two million jobless today, but also for each of us and our families and our communities as we collectively tread the fine line between our own employment and job loss.”

And it ends by making a very strong and caring statement. “Whatever is economic is also deeply human and therefore requires a clear commitment to justice and morality. It demands making choices. Choosing to not care is choosing. What is your choice?’


Tanya is also a psychic reader– tea leaf reading, tarot, etc.– and a housesitter as well as a reiki master. Her web site with more information is at  She can also be reached at or cell 250-538-0086  She has pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Twitter.

To read more of her posts go to or










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