Social Costs Mount for the Long-Term Unemployed
Business + Economy

Social Costs Mount for the Long-Term Unemployed


As Congress returns to work this week, the Senate is expected to vote on final passage of a bill to extend federal unemployment insurance. Yet questions remain about whether the House will even take up the bill should it pass the Senate as expected.

Numerous articles, including some here at The Fiscal Times, have documented the economic damage that long-term unemployment and the loss of federal benefits has done to jobless workers. But the damage is not all economic. Unemployment is a significant risk factor for substance abuse, which leads to a wide array of social ills, from drunk driving to the break-up of families.

This chart, made for the addiction and recovery organization 12Keys Recovery by graphic designer and blogger Adrienne Erin, documents the connections between alcohol and drug abuse and the unemployment rate. The data show the association is particularly relevant among young people.

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