Statistics Detail the Emotional Toll of Unemployment

Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight analyzes the results of the latest American Time Use Survey and draws conclusions about the ways unemployment sap Americans. Not only do the unemployed possess a higher risk for depression, obesity, and suicide, they also tend to lead more inert lives than their employed counterparts.

What's the Latest?


The results of the latest American Time Use Survey were released on Wednesday and Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight has the scoop. The government's data appears to back up societal estimations regarding the emotional welfare of the unemployed -- notably, that it's a struggle. Not only are the unemployed more at risk for depression, obesity, and suicide, they are also more likely to have relatively inert lifestyles. They spend more time sleeping, watching tv, and playing games while their employed counterparts spend more time socializing and relaxing.

What's the Big Idea?

The unemployed also spend a large chunk of their time trying to become un-unemployed -- about 45 minutes a day on average. This includes time spent applying for new jobs or taking classes in pursuit of a degree or certificate. The statistics also cover the plights of more particular demographics: single mothers, the long-term unemployed, the married. Casselman offers a number of insights on each though his overarching conclusion is that the unemployed struggle to get off the couch -- though that's more a metaphor than literal take.

Read more at FiveThirtyEight

Photo credit: baranq / Shutterstock

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less