DGB study: unemployment makes you sick

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DGB study: unemployment makes you sick

(16.08.2010) The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) has published the results of a new study on the living situation of the unemployed and comes to the conclusion that unemployment does not only result in income problems but also in more common illnesses.

As the Frankfurter Rundschau (FR) reports, citing the DGB study, job seekers get sick twice as often as employed people. "The longer unemployment lasts and the lower the prospects for a return, the more stressful the situation will be for those affected and their families," DGB board member Annelie Buntenbach told FR. The sick leave rate in the group of 15- to 24-year-olds is three percent among employees, compared to 4.4 percent among job seekers. This difference increases with age. According to this, unemployed people in the group of 55 to 59 year olds are sick with a sick leave rate of 15.2 percent more than twice as often as employees of the same age group.

For the DGB, the result of the study is clear: "Health promotion of unemployed people in Germany is still completely inadequate overall". There are hardly any approaches to sustainable health promotion and the unemployed rarely benefit from health prevention measures by health insurance companies. Therefore, the government should make health insurance companies more obligated to fulfill their statutory prevention mandate, according to the DGB.

The poor state of health of the unemployed in many cases prevents them from returning to work and ultimately costs the state more than reasonable health care for those affected, stressed the DGB. According to the official unemployment statistics, as of June 2010 almost 540,000 unemployed had medically relevant health restrictions and among the Hartz IV recipients a total of 45 percent said that they were in poor health. In another study by the Federal Ministry of Labor, almost two thirds of those surveyed stated that they received ALG II recipients that they could not work 100 percent.

In this context, mental illnesses also play an increasingly important role among the unemployed and occur almost twice as often as among the employed. So z. B. Techniker Krankenkasse, in a separate study for the years 2000 to 2009, found that absenteeism among unemployed people doubled due to diagnosed mental disorders. Mental illnesses are also the second most common cause of illness among job seekers and account for around a quarter of all unemployment days of the unemployed. According to the experts, the main causes are the enormous psychological pressure when looking for a new job as well as the associated emotional setbacks, lack of social recognition and other problems and constraints caused by unemployment.

The fact that the federal government does not really know how to deal with the problem arises from its response to a request from the Greens in the Bundestag on the subject. The concept of the Federal Government is therefore as follows: "Since participation in work and employment is an essential factor for mental health and social well-being of the people, all employment promotion measures of the Federal Government indirectly aim at strengthening the mental health of the unemployed." )

Also read:
DGB study: unemployment makes you sick
Study: fear of Hartz IV makes you sick

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