College best option for young people during times of high unemployment

Mar 10, 2009

From a health perspective, going to college is the best option for young people during times of mass unemployment, says a senior researcher in an editorial published on bmj.com today.

Unemployment is bad for , writes Danny Dorling, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield.

In the UK, we know much about the detrimental health effects of . For example, studies show that deaths doubled among men aged 40-59 in the five years after redundancy in 1980, while research during the early 1990s found that unemployment increased rates of depression, particularly in the young who are usually most badly hit when jobs are few.

The direct effect of reducing unemployment has been estimated to prevent up to 2,500 premature deaths a year, says Dorling, but health benefits vary according to the method used.

For example, youth opportunity-type schemes are almost as detrimental to psychological health as is unemployment itself. Temporary employment is slightly better but not as good as a properly rewarded and organised apprenticeship. Secure work is better than all these options, but the best option for men and women aged 16-24 in the 1980s and 1990s was going to college, which was associated with lower suicide risks.

The most highly valued education is university education, writes Dorling. If three extra per 100 this summer go to university and are out of the job market, another three people could fill those jobs that the first three might have taken, another three percentage points come off the dole queue and fewer youngsters compete with older workers who have recently been made redundant.

More importantly, says Dorling, this approach recognises that unemployment is bad for health, and that the best way of alleviating it is to show faith in and respect for the young, because they are always worst hit by unemployment.

More university students does not need to mean more debt for young people, he adds. It is just a case of priorities and recognising when the time is right for someone to be there to help.

Source: British Medical Journal

Explore further: New Dominican law OKs abortion if life at risk

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hewlett Packard to create 500 jobs in Ireland

Mar 10, 2009

US technology company Hewlett Packard is to create 500 jobs with an 18-million-euro (23-million-dollar) expansion of its global service desk operation in Leixlip, County Kildare southwest of Dublin, Prime ...

US struggles to pinpoint cyber attacks: Top official

Mar 10, 2009

The United States often cannot quickly or reliably trace a cyber attack back to its source, even as rival nations and extremists may be looking to wage virtual war, a top official warned Tuesday.

Migraines increase stroke risk during pregnancy

Mar 10, 2009

Women who suffer migraines are at an increased risk of stroke during pregnancy as well as other vascular conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and blood clots, concludes a study published on bmj.com today.

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

Dec 19, 2014

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

Dec 19, 2014

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.