June 1, 2009
The UK is currently experiencing a deep economic recession. In the first half of 2008, the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance began to rise and other UK labour market indicators worsened (ONS, 2009). Evidence from previous recessions shows that unemployment and worklessness are not evenly spread across the population (Muriel and Sibieta, 2009). Early indications from this recession suggest that, as in earlier recessions, the social groups worst affected include low-skilled, low-educated, and young people, and those living in deprived areas.
Policy makers are interested in identifying those who may experience complex and enduring difficulties as a result of recession. To inform the evidence base, this research explores the extent to which people who lose their job and people who feel insecure in their job go on to experience other social disadvantages, such as depression, financial stress and relationship breakdown. Importantly the research looks at the duration of these social disadvantages, observing for how many years they were experienced after losing a job or feeling insecure in a job. The research also examines whether these outcomes are more likely for people who face employment difficulties during a recession. Finally, the research investigates whether people have resilience factors, such as education, social support networks and strong mental health, which protect against these social disadvantages after experiencing employment difficulties.