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Effects of Unemployment on Families

Effects of Unemployment on Families

Unemployment is a very serious concern because it not only affects the breadwinner, but also the entire family. Its negative effects on the well-being of a family are discussed below.
Priyanka Kosta Sonkushre
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
When the breadwinner of a family loses his/her job, the entire family is adversely hit by the effects of unemployment. Steady source of income is extremely important for fulfilling all the needs of a family. But when this steady income comes to a halt, financial security is lost due to which the family suffers emotional, psychological and social disturbance.
Whatever be the cause of unemployment, for a person willing to work, this phase is extremely disheartening and it directly or indirectly affects the happiness and prosperity of the family.
Reduced Disposable Income
As unemployment sets in, the disposable income of the family is drastically reduced. All the major expenditures have to be cut down to adjust with little money the family is left with. With reduced purchasing ability, other expenditures including food items are highly affected. This leads to increased poverty, due to which the earning members have to go through a lot of hardship to meet the basic needs of the family.

Loss of Financial Security
Unemployment of the earning member of the family suddenly brings a lot of changes in the lives of family members. Sudden loss of financial security creates a lot of tension and stress in the family. The regular expenditures done by the family members before, suddenly have to be reduced or stopped due to altered financial capacity. It becomes really difficult for every member to adjust to this change. Searching for alternative sources of income becomes a necessity for the family to survive in such a condition.

Strained Relationships
Money is very important to keep things going on smoothly. With less or no money in hand, the head of the family is under continuous stress, which disturbs the emotional and physical health of everyone. A disturbed mental frame of mind leads to frequent conflicts between the partners, and this indirectly affects the mental framework of children in the family. The relations between all family members comes under a lot of strain. The smallest reasons become a cause for a lot of friction between everyone, and invariably, there is never any peace or happiness around the house. Sometimes though, children take this as a lesson, and work hard to build a better future for themselves, while in some cases, they accept it as their fate and do not put in the effort that is required to build a better future.

Housing Issues
Issues related to housing also come up with job loss. The family may need to shift to another house with low rent because the one in which the family used to live before, may not suit their pockets now. Families living in their own houses may face problems in paying the installments of home loans they might have taken to purchase their house. The overall lifestyle of the family is hampered due to housing-related issues.

Illegal Activities
Quite often, people tend to lean towards resorting to something that is illegal in order to make some money, when all other options run dry. Not everyone becomes a criminal by choice. Repeated failures in getting employment can turn members of a family into carrying out some illegal business, working for criminal organizations, etc., so as to put food on the table.

Bad Habits
As a result of little or no money, no job to keep one occupied, getting into bad company, etc., unemployed family members are very likely to turn to drugs and alcohol abuse. They see this as a way of running away from all the problems that have arisen due to the paucity of funds. This again is related to deterioration on relationships, health issues, etc.

Increased Susceptibility to Health Problems
Significant rise in health problems amongst family members is observed as they are deprived of healthy nutritious food due to negligible income. Poor financial health leaves the family with no money for treatment of diseases like diabetes, bronchitis, and other chronic illnesses which sometimes lead to fatal outcomes. Unemployment is also responsible for triggering depression and mental disturbances in jobless individuals.

Negative Effects on Children
The future of children in a family with unemployed parents might seem bleak. Poor financial capacity of parents lead to compromising on good education of their children. Due to inadequate education, fewer companies open their doors for hiring them, and this ultimately affects their social futures. The emotional well-being of children is also hampered due to constant stress and conflicts between their parents and other family members.

Social Nonacceptance
Unemployment also affects social acceptance of families. Children of unemployed parents are generally not considered at par with children of employed parents. Wives of jobless men find it difficult to find jobs for themselves. Moreover, a single female parent also has less chances of getting a job easily, as the society rates a family depending on the number of earning members in it.

Loss of Retirement Security
With job loss, the amount of money that is regularly set aside for use after retirement comes to a stop. This results in the loss of retirement security as the family has no money that is being accumulated to serve for expenditures after the earning members of the family retire. Long-term unemployment also reduces the chances of asset building and buying a home for old age.

Dependency on Government Welfare Programs
Government conducts welfare programs from time to time to help unemployed families. With increased dependency on such income sources, children may lose interest in earning a living, which may result in poor academic performances. Poor academics mean poor chances of employment in the future and this cycle may go on and on. Therefore, families with no income should think of alternative means to earn money so that children do not develop the tendency of relying on third-party help for survival.

Handling unemployment can be extremely difficult. However, a person with a positive attitude and a peaceful mind can definitely find out ways to deal with unemployment, so that the entire family does not have to suffer too much.