Unemployment and Mental Health

Unemployment and Mental Health

The Health Foundation has published its findings following a study into the link between unemployment and mental health and how the road to Covid recovery impact heavily on both of these.

Key findings include:

  • The rise in unemployment is not distributed evenly across society. While the unemployment rate was estimated at 5.1% in January 2021, the highest rates were among young people aged 18–24 (14.0%), people with lower qualifications (7.8%) and people from minority ethnic groups (7.6%).
  • In January 2021, 43% of unemployed people had poor mental health. This was greater than for people in employment (27%) and for people who were on furlough (34%). This suggests that furloughing has provided some protection for mental health.
  • Workers with existing mental health conditions are also more likely to work in sectors that have had to close due to COVID-19 restrictions, such as hospitality, making them vulnerable to job losses. This will potentially widen the gap in employment rates between those with and those without mental health conditions.

With so many voluntary and community organisations involved in work on health and wellbeing, and with the likelihood of a rise in unemployment later this year as the furlough scheme comes to an end, this report can help explain the current context and inform thinking for the future.