From The Guardian: “But beyond the dollar signs, economists are worried about the long-term effects that being unemployed will have on Americans’ mental health – a problem that will further highlight the cracks in the country’s safety net and healthcare system.
It may seem cliche but work is not all about the money, and research proves it. ‘People want to work. They want to do meaningful things,’ said Art Goldsmith, a professor of economics at Washington and Lee University who has researched the psychological effects of unemployment.
Although Goldsmith noted there is evidence that people experience a brief period of optimism when they are first let go from their jobs – they find they have more time to do other tasks, like cleaning out a garage – dangerous feelings of pessimism can set in after four to five weeks of unemployment.
‘As the weeks go on, and we see the economy struggling, I think there will be more pessimism. I worry the emotional footprint of this experience can be quite large,’ Goldsmith said.”