The causes and effects of unemployment

This paper discusses unemployment in the family. The research paper looks at the causes of unemployment, from the loss of a job, the loss of a job due to being laid down, un renewed contracts, early retirement or the closing down of industries. Unemployment is caused by illness, where a person becomes terminally ill or is advised by the doctor to leave the job due to health reasons. Bad business practices are a cause of unemployment, with people losing their businesses to repossession due to loans. The major cause of unemployment is a poor economy as it affects all areas of out lives. The paper has gone further and discussed the steps families take to manage unemployment whether they are direct or indirect, and the effects unemployment has on the family. It further discussed the measures the family should take to deal with unemployment and the unemployment period. From revising their budget, canceling or rescheduling payments on cards, job searching and community involvement. The paper has discussed the role the government plays in the alleviation of poverty.


Unemployment is an increasing issue in the family, with topics like food, shelter and clothing having being in the centre stage, unemployment is now a topic of discussion in the family. The loss of lively hood is not common to the bread winners but it is also felt by the young upcoming professionals, those who are seeking jobs for the first time. Unemployment is not restricted to those who have been working but it also applies to those who were self employed and have lost their businesses for one reason or another Heidi (2008).

The ongoing discussions on unemployment solutions have been centered on economic growth, but while this may help, questions are raised on its fastness in saving the family. The reason why the family is at the centre on unemployment issues is because it is the basic unit of a society. Therefore if any societal discussions and solutions are found for unemployment they should be able to assist the family structure. All members of a society are all members of one family or another; there this paper focuses on the issues of unemployment and the family.


The purpose of this paper is to understand the causes and the effects that unemployment has on the family. Unemployment impact greatly on the life of individuals, it affects on all aspects of a person. The impact of unemployment on an individual affects the family as well and the society at large. It is for this reason that practical and applicable solutions to unemployment should be found. The finding of ways for the family members find ways to handle employment in the current situation is important.


The main objective of this research paper is the study of the finding on equitable solutions to the causes of unemployment in the family. The paper will be handled in terms of specific objectives as follows.

Discuss the causes of unemployment in the family

Discuss the effects of unemployment, the direct and indirect practices the family has on unemployment.

Discuss solutions to unemployment for the family

Causes of Unemployment

In many families the parents are the providers of the daily bread, in the single house hold it is the single parent who provides for that family. There are families too where only one of the spouses works to provide for the family. An adult child can also work to provide for the family. The sources of income in the family come from employment, either a white collar or from manual work. Self employment is another source of income, where an individual or a family own and run a business Britt (1994) .

The loss of a job is a cause of unemployment, when an individual is fired, they loose their income. People can be laid off from work with or without benefits, when one looses a job for bad conduct or violation of an organizations rule they can be let go without benefits depending on the organizations principles. In case an organization goes out of business, is taken over by another business or a case of a contract ending the employees can receive benefits West (1994). The loss of business might mean that the benefits might come from the compensation from the bank or a government intervention in case it’s a big organization as it tries to bail it out .Sickness too can cause unemployment especially in cases of prolonged illness, or a case where one is advised by their doctor to leave their work for health reasons.

Individuals loose their income if their business close down, are declared bankrupt or are too sick to work. Wrong investment plans also cause unemployment; a bad decision can cause one to miss an opportunity of employment. Taking out a loan on the business and failing to pay causes for a bank take over and the close of the business Cantor (1985). Taking a loan on the mortgage of the house, failing to pay is even a serious problem, since one will loose the business and even the home. The main factor in these scenarios is the economic reasons.

The recent economic crisis has caused real financial strain on the society. With prices of fuel, transportation and raw materials go up, this cause production costs to go up, if production is expensive then the goods and services prices also go up. A bad economy means that at the same time people have little or no money in their pockets and the little they have they are holding on to it. This means that the rate of consumption of products and services goes down. Businesses then have to cut back on production reduce the working hours and even lay down employees; some businesses have even completely closed to cope with this situation Barling (1990). The lying off of employees has caused unemployment, in the society and eventually in the family. Therefore economic problems are a cause of unemployment.

The other factor to consider is that as people get laid off, then the employment rates also reduce. Those looking for jobs will have to make do with walking the path of looking for a job with people who have been working and are now laid off. They have to contend with competing for the few jobs with those recently unemployed, the risk being that for those jobs available. These jobs may be seeking someone with work experience, and those who have been in the job market and are searching get this chance since they have the experience compared to the fresh graduate. While people are being laid off and others trying to get employment, there is a class of individuals that many leave out. We tend to look at the young and forget about the older generation, those who are working and still have time on their retirement Linker (1983). When an economy crushes it takes down with it everyone, those who are remaining a few years to retire can also be affected. In the process of job cuts, organizations also reduce their retirement age. Taking this lot of the mature, yet still can work home. They still get to enjoy the benefits of the retirement.

Effects of Unemployment, Direct and Indirect Practices to Deal with Unemployment

The first effect is the loss of a source of income, the loss of a way to make money is the cause of loss of money. When this happens whether or if the person was aware of it, when it finally hits home that they have no income they experience shock. In a situation where they knew the problems at work and the possibility of the loss of the job, it does not come as a surprise. They may have even been trying to look for another job in the process. A business man, who had a loan and was experiencing poor business, causing him to make late payments on the loan, may be expecting the loss of his business Twitter (2002). The sick patient, who finds out that they are terminally ill, is expecting the loss of the job. They experience shock after when the truth sinks in, and they realize that they no longer have a source of income.

When unemployment happens, and they start looking for another job to no avail, and they have to use their savings, that is when they realize the effects of the loss. When they make the realization their attitude and personality changes, the fact that their savings are running out fast, they have no income is a trying time for them. They take time to unjust from the routine of working and going to work, they find is hard to watch how they spend, since it takes time to unjust Berry (1997).

The loss of an income has an effect on the whole family since, the attitude and the state of mind of the unemployed also affects the way they interact with others in the family. The fact that they have to watch their spending, and that they can no longer enjoy the luxuries they enjoyed is a demotivator.

Unemployment means the loss of a source of income, implications of this on the individual and family is that, they can no longer make payments on a few things that they enjoyed before. It becomes a luxury to eat out, take the car; they have to take the bus or train. Family vacations are reduced or even not taken in the end; trips to the store are reduced. They have to change their eating habits too, where they used to enjoy rich up to three meals a day, with some families enjoying several courses in a meal, they have to make do with less courses and fewer ingredients. The children are especially affected if they have to do with eating from the cafeteria at school while they were used to having money for lunch Kalil (2005).

As one or more of the providers has lost their job, and the circulation of money in the home has reduced with benefits reduced or cut, tensions get high. The family breaks up as tensions get high, they may be living in the same house but they are not in talking terms, each family discussion turns into a fight Berry (1997). The reason is that the unemployed member of the family is insecure; he or she does not know what to do with them. Their self esteem goes down, a low self esteem means that the individual is on edge, they become testy, and cannot interact properly with other members of the family. The family members are also at a loss, while they may want to assist them, they may not know how to as they are difficult to deal with.

On the other hand the lack of the luxuries may cause members to blame the provider for loosing their source of income, they also turn edgy as they become insecure, they cannot deal with the fact that now they have to make do with less. The limited budget, the choice the family has to make on what is to be left out of the budget is a trying task, a housewife who has to reduce or stop her visits to the spa, shopping and lunch meetings may get testy. The family splits up on items to be incorporated and left out of the budget Britt (1994).

Families have been known to split up and break up when the loss of income happens, when there is no any other source of income in the near future. The process of looking for another source of income is a hard one, if they are emotionally beaten they may not be enthusiastic in the job hunt, the move to another part of town or city may warrant the break up of the family. The break down of communication at this time because of tensions may also cause the family to break up Heidi (2008).

The family may have to move to another part of town or the country as they search for income, or as they move to a less expensive house. The failure to pay for mortgage or the repossession of their house causes them to move, either with family, friends or they even become homeless West (1994).

These major changes in the family are a strain on the family members; they cause deviant behavior in the family member. They lead to members turning to alcohol, extra marital affairs and even divorce. The children in this kind of situation turn to crime as they associate with the wrong group, in their search for happiness outside the house they make wrong decisions. Unemployment also causes depression to unemployed and the members of the family, their failure to secure another job, the constant tension in the family, cause depression Kalil (2005). Where depression is experienced and if it is not treated early it can lead to suicide, sometimes the family members would want to help but the lack of money means that they cannot afford professional help for their loved one. The family seeks ways of burying the shame of a change lifestyle and cope with their new situation. It is the search of ways that causes them to behave in socially unacceptable manner.

During this unemployment period there are practices that families get into to reduce and to manage the effects of unemployment. These can be classified as direct and indirect practices. The direct practices are the immediate actions that effect, for example a family will decide to immediately change their budget, and they decide to unjust their budget to accommodate their new lifestyle. They also decide to change the menu to be a more economical; they may turn to canned foods Trotter (2002). The family also decides to reduce consumption of energy in the house, by cutting down on shower time, stop the use of bathtubs, change lighting bulbs t the more energy saving bulbs, make us of one car if they have two. They also may decide to stop the use of the pool for those who have it, to cut back on cost of maintaining it. Family vacations are also reviewed, with priority being put on visiting family members and parents. At the same time they also can cut back credit card spending, or even completely scrap the use of the cards.The whole purpose of making these changes is to effectively make use of their savings before the next source of income is found Heidi (2008).

The other step taken is the immediate search for an alternative source of income, this may entail looking for employment through advertisements or they use friends and relatives to get another job. They may decide to get self employment to seek income. When a family has settled in their new lifestyle are they able to handle unemployment. If the problem persists do they result to drastic measures, selling of household items, the second or all the cars, they may decide to move in with their relatives as they sell the house. They may move to a house with cheaper rent.

At this desperate stage is when the patience of the family is tried, at this time many couples are known to break up. Children drop out of school because they lack fee or are chased away for misconduct. This is period were unfaithfulness is experienced; this period also can lead to divorce. It is this time when tensions are high and the family is braking up, that desperation leads women to prostitution, men to crime, suicide is experienced and family members are known to kill each other.

Solutions to Unemployment in the Family

To effectively deal with unemployment in the family it is important first to learn the management of the family’s resources. There are many steps the family can take to deal with period. The first step to take immediately after a job loss is stock taking or assessing the situation. This is meant to list down all the expenditures and the resources present it helps give one a clear picture of the financial position of the family.

The second important step is the application of benefits; those who are unemployed are eligible to unemployment benefits. After assessing ones position financially, they should apply for unemployment benefits. These benefits will assist the family in bringing in some income, this mostly helpful as it helps with the basic and most urgent needs like food and utilities. Application for benefits early will help them receive them early too, and at this time they will have come to terms with the loss of income Barling (1990).

A very important step is the contacting of creditors; this is meat to inform them of the loss of income and the possibility of delayed payments. This is important because creditors are willing to unjust the payment schedule or payments for those who can pay. This step is important because failure to do, and the over looking the fact that you might make it, in the eventuality that one doesn’t, then he or she destroys their credit rating.

During this period it is important to look for a job. As one embarks on a job hunt it is important to study the job market. Job markets and requirements by employers change, this is because there are so many diverse requirements that an employer is looking for a multi skilled employee. It is important at this time to revise ones skills and try to match them to the job market. This is the time to go back to school or acquire training certificate that will match with your work experience Cantor (1985).

As they search for a job it is also advisable if a job is long in coming by, it is good for them to reconsider and think of a self employment venture to get involved in. they can either join a relative or a friend and assist in their work, this is very important in that it gives them a sense a being needed. Apart from feeling needed it also boosts their confidence, reduces stress, depression in them and in the family. It gives them something to do and occupy their minds with; it is while they are out working on odd jobs that they get ideas of getting an income. They then should consult with family members on their ideas and professionals so that they do not make a poor investment decision Britt (1994).

These steps are important to the individual and the family members as they help prevent negative consequences as a result of helplessness or depression. A positive reaction and positive steps taken in the management unemployment helps them reduce medical costs that would have been sort if they fell into depression. Getting involved in community projects and activities also helps in occupying their time, getting involved in the church, or the local care centre, the recreation centre, as a volunteer or the local gardening committee Kalil (2005). These gestures are meant to give them a sense of ownership, that the society still needs them and the alleviation of boredom.

A positive mind during the period of unemployment is a healthy tool in the fight of unemployment. A positive mind is created from the feeling we have when we get support from our family and friends, when our neighbors still want to associate with use after a loss Berry (1997). A positive is required in order for the unemployed to find another source of income.

This new source of income apart from a new job could be a business, a positive mind will help them think and make good plans that assist them in decision making. They should seek the help of family members whether it is financial aid or ideas, to even labor as they set up their business. These simple yet important steps should be undertaken by the unemployed and their families. It is important fro them to take personal responsibility for their present situation, whether they are in it out of their own fault or that of others Linker (1983). These measures should go hand in hand with measures the government and local authority is taking to alleviate unemployment.

The government on its part tries to alleviate unemployment by improving the economy, they bail out organizations. They encourage investments in order to create jobs, at the same time providing benefits to the unemployed. They provide these benefits through social welfare that gives unemployment benefits, to food stamps. The social structures set up, like that of the unemployment office helps the unemployed find jobs. All measures taken by the government are meant to help save the society from the effects of unemployment.


This paper has covered in detail the causes of unemployment, the effect it has on the family and the actions the family takes to deal with unemployment. it has been seen that the first steps one takes after losing a job determines the kind of situation they will be in during this period of unemployment. Family support is very important to the unemployed; they either make or break the individual. This is the period where with a positive attitude one can change their lives positively, the loss of a job may mean the beginning a o new era, one in which they rediscover themselves as they improve their situation, a period of self discovery leads to self employment and even a very successful career in a field of their dreams. The most important factor is that of positive living and positive steps to handle unemployment.

Work Cited

Barling, J. (1990). Employment, Stress, and Family Functioning. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Berry, A.; Mendex, M. T.; and Tenjo, J. (1997). “Growth, Macroeconomic Stability and the Generation of Productive Employment in Latin America.” In Employment Expansion and Macroeconomic Stability under Increasing Globalization, ed. A. R. Khan and M. Muqtada. London: Macmillan.

Britt, C. L. (1994). “Crime and Unemployment among Youths in the United States, 1958- 1990.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 53( January):99-109.

Cantor, D., and Land, K. C. (1985). “Unemployment and Crime Rates in the Post-World War II United States: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis.” American Sociological Review 50( June):317-332.

Heidi, R. Unemployment Effects emotions, Family Relations. C & G publishing, 2008

Kalil, A. Unemployment and Job Displacement: The Impact on Families and Chilren. Ivey business journal 2005

Liker, J. K., and Elder, G. H., Jr. (1983). “Economic Hardship and Marital Relations in the 1930s.” American Sociological Review 48( June):343-359.

Piggott, J., and Chapman, B. (1995). “Costing the Job Compact.” Economic Record 71(December):313-328.

Trotter, L. The Impact of Unemployment on our Society. Helium publishing. 2002

West, C. T. (1994). “The Problem of Unemployment in the United States: A Survey of 60 Years of National and State Policy Initiatives.” International Regional Science Review 1 and 2(16):17-47.

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