According to a new study published in the American Journal for Public Health and conducted at the University of British Columbia, unemployed Americans with minimal and medium skill sets are seven times more likely to die than highly skilled workers.
The study further made comparisons between the United States and Germany and found citizens in the U.S. to be at more risk in almost every case. The major difference being, German workers have access to more robust employment protections and insurance.
Chris McLeod, the lead researcher on the paper and a post-doctoral fellow with the Human Early Learning Partnership at the school commented on the results:
“Employment insurance makes a difference to the health of the most vulnerable populations, low-wage and poorly educated workers,”
“For low-wage and poorly educated workers, it’s not just about losing your job but losing your job and being at the bottom of the labour market.”
“It is important that we recognize how changes to employment and unemployment protections could inadvertently affect the health of the most vulnerable populations,”
According to the press release:
The U.S. and Germany are the world’s two most successful economies but differ significantly in their employment policies. Germany, a coordinated market economy, has high levels of both employment protection – restrictions on terminating employees – and unemployment protection – availability of unemployment benefits. The United States, a liberal market economy, has low levels of employment and unemployment protection. The study found that 75 per cent of unemployed German workers received unemployment compensation compared to only 19 per cent of U.S. workers.
Naturally the answer is to offer more training and improved benefits, especially for those who are unemployed or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. While Germany may suffer from similar unemployment and job issues as the U.S., they have made insurance and benefits more accessible to their unemployed, which helps guarantee medical treatment and favorable living conditions.
So, it’s more bad news for the millions of unemployed Americans. Not only should they be worried about how they are going to pay their bills, now their lives are in more danger because they aren’t having their basic needs met. I guess it’s nothing new. In May, the unemployment rate rose to 8.2% in the U.S.