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How Job loss, underemployment, mental health, suicide, and Domestic Violence are Connected

Male looking for a job

Record Unemployment

Underemployment and unemployment in Australia are at record levels. The latest data from Roy Morgan shows there are 2.59 million people who are either underemployed or unemployed.

How Job Loss and Suicide are Connected

Research in the United States shows unemployment duration as being the dominant force in the relationship between job loss and suicide. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among working-age adults, and the underlying pathologies, depression, substance abuse, and other mental illnesses tend to be under-diagnosed and under-treated.

Unemployed Males Suicide Rate

Australian research shows that unemployed males are 4.6 times more likely to take their own lives than employed men, which provides evidence that there is a significant correlation between the factors.

How Financial Stress Correlates to Domestic Violence

Other Australian research shows that financial stress, personal stress and lack of social support are strong correlates of domestic violence: Additionally, research by Christopher Cramer, School of Oriental and African Studies, London suggests that the frustrations of unemployment and or irregular employment have been linked to intimate partner violence.

Failure of Trickle-down Economics

Australian governments have been selling trickle-down economics since about the 1980s. This approach to economics has failed the clear majority of Australians, and I believe been a significant contributor to unemployment and casual employment which provides fertile grounds for suicide, mental health issues, family violence, and crime in general. This video explains trickle-down economics well.

According to Bill Mitchell who holds the Chair in Economics and is the Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity, states that despite the ravages of neoliberalism, the State still contains resources for the democratic control of a nation’s economy and finances through adopting the Modern Monetary Theory.

Part of the Modern Monetary Theory approach to the economy is that the Federal Government, being a sovereign State, controls the money supply. The only money in circulation is what the Government spend into it.

This spending stimulates economic growth and employment. Current Government approach is to cut back spending on health, education, social welfare, and infrastructure spending, this spending is what stimulates the economy, creates employment.

Government Spending Priorities Out of Balance

There seems little or no problem finding massive amounts of money to spend on illegal wars, the so-called war on terror and border protection when we are not under threat from anyone.

As individuals, I would suggest that we all have a roll in pressuring our political leaders to do their job and look after the economy in the best interest of all Australians.

Map of Australia showing unemployment rates

How Economic Uncertainty Increases Racism

The high rate of economic uncertainty, I suspect, contributes to the high level of racism we are experiencing in Australia today. When times are tough, there is a strong tendency to proportion blame to various out groups of people.

Australian governments need to take responsibility for the high rate of unemployment, especially youth unemployment. I left school when I was 15 in 1956. The concept of not getting a good, secure, full-time job did not exist.

Every Local, State, and Federal Government department offered jobs to thousands of school leavers each year and trained most of the apprentices. Other school leavers were offered jobs in the Public service; others were offered scholarships in various Universities and trained as our future engineers and other professionals. This responsibility to our school leavers has now been abandoned by governments.


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