Wikinvest Wire

A poll on the toll taken by unemployment

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The New York Times reports on the hardships being imposed on the nation's unemployed in a new poll that includes a number of startling statistics.

More than half of the nation’s unemployed workers have borrowed money from friends or relatives since losing their jobs. An equal number have cut back on doctor visits or medical treatments because they are out of work.

Almost half have suffered from depression or anxiety. About 4 in 10 parents have noticed behavioral changes in their children that they attribute to their difficulties in finding work.

Joblessness has wreaked financial and emotional havoc on the lives of many of those out of work, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll of unemployed adults, causing major life changes, mental health issues and trouble maintaining even basic necessities.
The top number in the graphic shouldn't be surprising since, after all, one of the reasons that you save money is to have funds available for situations like this - if you lose your job.

The bottom number, however, is a bit surprising if for no other reason that it is nearly as large as the top one. While you can't really tell how much overlap there is, that would be an interesting data point as well since you would think that nearly all of the people in the lower group exhausted whatever savings they had (however small) and would be counted in the 60 percent group.

If you make the assumption that all of the 53 percent are in the 60 percent, then that's a surprisingly small percentage that were able to simply rely on their own savings to get them through.

Anyway, back to the article where the human interest stories abound:
“I lost my job in March, and from there on, everything went downhill,” said Vicky Newton, 38, of Mount Pleasant, Mich., a single mother who had been a customer-service representative in an insurance agency.

“After struggling and struggling and not being able to pay my house payments or my other bills, I finally sucked up my pride,” she said in an interview after the poll was conducted. “I got food stamps just to help feed my daughter.”

Over the summer, she abandoned her home in Flint, Mich., after she started receiving foreclosure notices. She now lives 90 minutes away, in a rental house owned by her father.

With unemployment driving foreclosures nationwide, a quarter of those polled said they had either lost their home or been threatened with foreclosure or eviction for not paying their mortgage or rent. About a quarter, like Ms. Newton, have received food stamps.
A quarter of those who experienced anxiety or depression said they had gone to see a mental health professional. Women were significantly more likely than men to acknowledge emotional issues.
If you're in the mood for reading this sort of thing today, there's plenty more in this report along with videos of about ten of the interview subjects.

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Anonymous said...

It's likely that most of the 40% that haven't dipped into savings, didn't have savings to dip into.

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