How Does Unemployment Affect Communities?

Colin Hawkins/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Unemployment can have several negative effects on communities, including reducing the quality and availability of housing and reducing the quality of schools and limiting the variety and availability of jobs. Unemployment in communities can occur among a few individuals or affect large segments of the population. Sometimes, unemployment stems from other chronic and external issues, such as national poverty and economic recession, and can be either temporary or long term.

Unemployment on a larger scale reduces the quantity of resources and may reduce the ability of individuals to gain access to those resources, too. These resources include a variety of items, such as food supplies, healthcare, medical facilities and educational institutions. Without access to these resources, individuals in communities face other barriers, such as schools of poor quality, and reduced access to services such as public transportation. Perpetual unemployment can also hamper the opportunity for people to return to work following a layoff and can significantly reduce the economic livelihood of a local economy. Unemployment can also make people feel psychologically and socially isolated from their peers, which makes them more likely to engage in deviant and negative activities. In turn, this reduces the level of safety in communities and can lead to escalated crime rates.