A job is a fundamental aspect of life. As of 2021, 59% of the US population relied on their jobs for individual basic needs and providing for their children (Statista 1). Besides, nearly every individual is introduced to education and other activities necessary to provide adequate and relevant skills to help them get a decent job at an early age. Regardless, losing a job is common. This is due to various reasons, including changes in the job market, misconduct, and economic downturns. For instance, following the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly 63% of the working population lost their jobs (UBS 1). Losing one’s job leads to a decline in standards of living.
One’s job is directly related to their standards of living. Essentially, the standard of living is the income level, comforts, and services available to a particular society, location, or individual (Barreiro-Gen 12). The standard of living affects one’s quality of life. People in developed countries are considered to have a higher quality of life as they have higher standards of living relative to those in developing countries. The decline in standards of living can also be elaborated in terms of the money used as benefits for unemployment. In August 2022, the US government spent 2.01 billion dollars on unemployment benefits, 1.44 billion lower than the previous year (Statista 1). This indicates that losing a job affects the individual and the entire population, as money used for unemployment compensation could have otherwise been used to fund development projects.
Losing a job consequently lowers an individual’s available income for spending. Therefore, they are forced to alter their standard of living. Living becomes even more complicated for a person who has lost a job and has a family relying on them. If a community has a higher rate of people without jobs, there are low-quality public services such as housing, recreational areas, and public transport. When people have no jobs, they reduce their contribution to the economy in terms of services and goods either produced or sold. Therefore, the community’s way of living gets affected when many people lose jobs. Besides, with the purchasing power of people who have lost job reduced, the counterparts who were selling products to them are also affected in their standard of living as their earnings similarly reduce.
Also losing a job individually leads to contraction of health problems related to anxiety and depression such as diabetes. These health complications necessitate frequent hospital visits. However, with reduced purchasing power, individuals who have lost jobs find it difficult to maintain their health which was a part of their way of living before losing their job. Prior, to losing their jobs, individuals could comfortably afford to pay for their health insurance, a luxury they cannot afford without their jobs. In addition, individuals without jobs are less likely to avoid spending on healthy routines such as subscribing to a gym plan. Besides, they are likely to also consume unhealthy diet which is cheaper. Therefore, losing a job equally changes individual’s standard of living healthwise.
Overall, losing a job leads to reduced standards of living. When one loses a job, they become dependent on the government. Finances used to support the unemployed could be used in other development projects. This highlights the essence of putting up measures to ensure that there are adequate job opportunities. This will ensure that there are no individuals who lose their jobs for a more qualified individual to fill their slot. To avoid such scenarios, the government and other stakeholders should put up measures to ensure career and skill development in the workplace. With career and skill development, employed staff will be equipped with relevant skills for their areas of expertise.
Barreiro-Gen, María. Discussing Approaches to Standard of Living. Research Gate. 2019. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332257785_Discussing_Approaches_to_Standard_of_Living
USA Employment Rate 1990-2021. Statista. 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/192398/employment-rate-in-the-us-since-1990/
U.S. total monthly unemployment benefits paid 2021-2022. 2022. Statista. 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/284857/total-unemployment-benefits-paid-in-the-us/
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey. UBS. 2022. https://www.bls.gov/cps/effects-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic.htm#:~:text=Of%20the%2018.1%20million%20people,the%20pandemic%20(83%20percent).