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Happiness and Unemployment

Most people spend a considerable part of their adult lives working. The job plays an important role in forming the self-image and it is often used to evaluate oneself and others. Asking about someone’s profession is usually one of the first questions that comes up when meeting a new person.

Taking this into consideration, no one can deny that losing a job must have a detrimental influence on a person’s life. According to Clark and Oswald (1994) the impact of becoming unemployed may even have a larger effect on a person’s well-being than other single major life events such as divorce or separation. This theory is supported by Young (2012) who also elaborates that the negative effect of losing a job doesn’t go away directly after reemployment, but rather stays for a longer time like a mental scar. The adverse impact on our well-being is not only related to the sudden loss of income, but also to the stigma itself that occurs with unemployment (Björklund, 1985).

Merged histogram plotting the overall life satisfaction ranging from 0 – 10 on the x-axis and the density on the y-axis offers an initial good overview of the data.