Unemployment is not only a social problem it is an individual problem also. An unemployed person loses self- respect and faces a discouraging and a disappointing outlook. “Unsteady employment undermines the workers physique, deadens his mind, weakens his ambition, destroys his capacity for continuous sustained endeavour, induces a liking for idleness and self – indulgence, saps self- respect and the sense of responsibility, impairs technical skills, weakens nerve and will power, creates a tendency to blame others for failure, saps his courage, prevents thrift, and hope of family advancement, destroys a workman’s feeling that he is taking care of his family, sends him to work worried, underfed, plunges him in debt”.
Young persons, who finish their education, find it very painful to join the army of unemployed persons. Many of them do not get any outlet for their creative energy, and their enthusiasm and vigor dies down as days pass on. The pitiable position of the wage- earner, who has lost his job for one reason or another, is equally unfortunate. The old and retired people who are still capable of working but unable to get suitable jobs suffer from bitterness, economic insecurity and loss of self- respect. The deplorable position of the casual workers and the underemployed persons cannot be undetermined here. For them, life is full of uncertainties and insecurities.
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They struggle a lot to meet their minimum requirements of living. Unemployment damages our physical, mental and moral health also. The unemployed persons may not get sufficient food and medical assistance to maintain good physical health. Mental worries, anxieties and tensions adversely affect the mental health of the unemployed persons. The age-old saying “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop” – speaks in volumes of the disastrous effect of unemployment on the moral health of the person.
(ii) Unemployment and Family Disorganization: Unemployment causes physical hardships and mental agony not only to the individual of the employable age, but also to his family members. If the bread-winner of the family loses the job, the entire family suffers. In the absence of regular income the family has to fall back upon its little savings; and when that is exhausted, it has to resort to borrowings.
Valuable articles, golden ornaments, furniture, vessels and such other things are often sold or mortgaged to find money for immediate expenses. Families suffer starvation by resorting to unbelievable economies in food. Physical health of the family members gets damaged due to want of nutritious food and proper and timely medical care. Unemployment upsets the balance of the family life. Entire family faces uncertainty and indefiniteness. In desperation children may be asked to stop their education and join factories and such other business concerns at an early age. Even the wife may be compelled to go out of the household for work. This new role may make her to become highly irritable in temperament.
Bickerings, simmerings and quarrels may become the order of the day. Since the parents are compelled to struggle a lot for the maintenance of the family, they do not get much time to give social training to their children. As a result, children may develop delinquent tendencies. This state of affairs may even lead to the breakdown of the family.
(iii) Unemployment and Social Disorganization: Unemployment, if not checked or controlled, may ultimately prepare the way for social disorganization. Due to unemployment, people fail to live up to the expectations of society. Some of them may even resort to anti-social activities. It tempts or provocates them to resort to begging, to indulge in criminal activities, to fall a prey to gambling, drug addiction, drunkenness, etc. Unemployment is a social curse and it may even pollute the economic and political fields.
It makes the non-corrupt persons to become dishonest, the responsible and dignified to become irresponsible and undignified, the active and creative persons to become idle and lethargic, and so on. The urge to do something in life, gets dried up. (iv) Irreparable Economic Losses: Unemployment causes incalculable economic losses. Since the unemployed persons become parasites on society they pose a big economic burden.
The failure to provide jobs to all those who have the willingness and the potentiality to work, inevitably brings down economic production. Low production would cause low per capita income. People will be compelled to share among themselves country’s poverty and not its affluence. Unemployment adversely affects the standard of living of the people. In the long run this would bring down the labour-efficiency of the people.
Thus, unemployment as a socio-economic problem is capable of damaging the moral fibre of the individual and the social fabric of the society.