The number of suicides related to unemployment remains stubbornly high despite the improving economy, according to a study published this week.
Researchers had previously registered a spike in suicides during the global economic crisis that began in 2008, suggesting that financial stress and hardship had contributed to the rise. But an analysis published on Tuesday in The Lancet Psychiatry by doctors at the University of Zurich in Switzerland estimates that about 5,000 suicides were associated with the crisis, while roughly nine times as many self-inflicted deaths are linked to unemployment each year.
The psychiatrists analyzed the suicide rates and economic statistics of 63 countries from 2000 to 2011 and determined that unemployment is connected to approximately 45,000 suicides annually. According to their findings, unemployment elevated the relative risk of suicide by 20 to 30 percent throughout the world. Suicides related to unemployment accounted for about a fifth of annual totals worldwide, and the association was strongest in countries where being out of work is uncommon.
“It is possible that an unexpected increase in the unemployment rate may trigger greater fears and insecurity than in countries with higher pre-crisis unemployment levels,” Carlos Nordt, the lead author of the study, said.