The Human Cost of Job Losses

We are all bracing ourselves for the result of the Comprehensive Spending Review when we will know the scale of the cuts e are facing.  Workers in the public sector will, initially, be in the firing line.  But those in the private sector should be equally concerned.  For every job lost locally, there will be one person less spending in local shops, using buses and taxis, and using local leisure facilities.  And with local government cuts, the amount spent in the local economy falls. 

All this results in more job losses and a vicious cycle gather pace.  But that is just the financial fall-out.  The human cost is so much greater.

Michael Moore, in his depressing, yet excellent book Downsize This! refers to research carried out by economists at the University of Utah, that for every 1% rise in the number unemployed, homicides increase by 6.7%, violent crime by 3.4%, property crime 2.4%, and deaths by heart disease and strokes rise by 5.6% and 3.1%, respectively.

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2 Responses

  1. Quite right.

    The major challenges facing the British economy are climate change in the medium term and unemployment in the short term.

    I’m still not sure why we’re so obsessed with the marginal problems of deficit when unemployment will cause a more substantial and longer term problem for the UK.

  2. The Public Sector only ever pay the Private Sector with money that was coerced from the private sector in the first place!

    If you take £10 from me then use it to buy goods from me – I am still £10 down on the deal.

    Make a social argument if you like, but there is no financial argument for the public sector – if people really wanted the services they would not need to be coerced to pay for them.

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