How does employment matter beyond income?

This week’s guest blog is from Brendan Burchell, a Reader in the Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge.As social scientists have found repeatedly, in different countries and different demographic groups, the loss of the wage only explains a small fraction of the very large mental health deficit associated with unemployment and economic inactivity…Other European countries, such as Germany and Austria, have traditionally used short-time work programmes to deal with economic crises. Employers can reduce the hours of employees, typically with some compensation from public funds to mitigate some of the loss of hours. This has several benefits over the all-or-nothing job shedding being used in the UK. 

The surprising finding from the University of Cambridge Employment Dosage team using UK and EU datasets is that increasing individuals’ hours of work from zero to just eight hours a week provides a large boost to their mental health…Read more

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