Essay on Literature Review on Unemployment

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Literature Review on Unemployment


Unemployment is recognised as one of the most challenging social problems currently facing Australia. In the last two decades and more recently with the global recession high levels of unemployment have become an established feature of the South Australian social and economic landscape, with young people aged 15 to 24 years among those hardest hit by unemployment.
In the past quarter the unemployment rate in South Australia has remained steady at 5.6% (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009) but this figure is volatile and may increase next month. The youth unemployment rate, however, in South Australia remains at 21.9% with the Western and Northern suburbs having significantly higher
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The absence of employment, therefore, can mean that many people do not have vital human needs met such as an opportunity to exercise control, to use and develop skills and have contact with others.

The research literature shows a strong association between unemployment and ill health. Some illness is caused by unemployment whilst other health problems are exacerbated by unemployment ( Smith, 1987; Mathers & Schofield,1998). An Australian summary of the health and unemployment literature by Mathers and Schofield (1998) identified that unemployment has detrimental effects on mental health, physical health and health related behaviours.

Mental Health

The evidence that unemployment has negative effects on mental health is strong. Mental health effects on young unemployed people include low self esteem and confidence
( Gurney, 1980; Prause and Dooley, 1997), increased incidence of depression ( Patton and Noller, 1990; Winefield et al, 1993; West & Sweeting, 1996), stress related symptoms ( Hammarstrom, 1994) and higher levels of anxiety ( Morrell et al, 1994; West & Sweeting,1996). In their study, Morrell et al (1998) find a strong association between unemployment in young 15 to 25 year olds and youth suicide.

Physical Health

Research has shown the links between unemployment and higher morbidity and mortality rates( Mathers and Schofield) where health outcomes are poorer and premature deaths are
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