Making Sen$e: The ‘Real’ Effects of Unemployment

BY Paul Solman  April 13, 2011 at 10:44 AM EDT

Paul Solman answers questions from NewsHour viewers and web users on business and economic news most days on his Making Sen$e page. Here’s Wednesday’s query:

Name: George Sacco

Making Sense

Question: In these economic reports there never seems to be any comment and analysis about the real effects of unemployment on families: how kids are impacted at school, how families have to move in with grandparents, how homes are foreclosed and people have to move, and the trickle-down effect on a particular neighborhood, school or church.

These are real problems that are going to eventually effect more Americans than not. Why is this not discussed from this point of view? Both the left and right don’t talk about it.

Paul Solman: Well, we do. We’ve cited a Yale study, which found that people laid off after age 50 were twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke in the decade following as those still working (holding all other risk factors constant.) We’ve chronicled the spillover damage to neighborhoods from waves of foreclosure and abandoned properties.

We’ve focused on the work of English epidemiologist Michael Marmot, whose work chronicles the collateral damage of economic inequality on health and longevity.

We’ve looked at the long-term effects of unemployment on recent college grads.

But your point about kids is well-taken. It would be interesting and important to consider the effects on them. So perhaps we will. Thanks for the prod.

This entry is cross-posted on the Making Sen$e page, where correspondent Paul Solman answers your economic and business questions _Follow Paul on Twitter._