Parental Unemployment Hurts Kids’ Futures and Social Mobility

“The effects of parental unemployment are fairly obvious. The loss of financial resources can be devastating and can cause changes in both living and school situations for many families. For families, unemployment can mean more than just the loss of a job and resources. As parents struggle to make ends meet, instability can strain parents’ and children’s relationships and harm their overall well-being. Economic and psychological stress can lead to changes in housing or family structure that may have long-lasting adverse effects on children’s development.”

Unemployment is bad news all round—and it may damage social mobility through its effects on parenting, and the drive and ambition of the next generation. That’s the warning given by Larry Summers—recently passed over as Fed Chair—in a thought-provoking interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Jobless Parents = Less Successful Kids

While economists and policy makers rightly worry about today’s jobless, there are potentially some long-term costs, too, not just for the individual out of work—but for their children. And not just in terms of economic and educational opportunities, but in terms of the picture of adult life provided to impressionable children…

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