Economics and Business
ISSN 2775-9237 (Online)
Published: 05 October 2020
Unemployment and Midlife Suicide Rates in Australia, 2001-2015: Implications During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Louise Rawlings, Pauline O’Shaughnessy, Jeffrey C. L. Looi, Stephen J. Robson
Australian National University (Australia), University of Wollongong (Australia)
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Keywords: Labour, Suicide, Socioeconomic, Regression, COVID-19
The world is experiencing a massive economic shock from the COVID-19 pandemic. Resulting unemployment and socioeconomic disruption have the potential to lead to a major upswing in the population rate of suicide in Europe and elsewhere. We assessed the association between midlife suicide rates and unemployment for Australia. For the midlife group we found a rapid decrease in the rate from 1970s to 1980s, but a more apparent increase after 2007. The increased male suicide rate coincided with the 2008 global financial crisis. The relationship between worsening employment outcomes, including suicide, is a great tragedy and deserves urgent further investigation.
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