Health consequences of youth unemployment

Public Health. 1994 Nov;108(6):403-12. doi: 10.1016/s0033-3506(94)80097-9.


Background: Youth unemployment is of increasing importance, not only as a social but also as a clinical problem.

Methods: A prospective study was conducted during a five-year period in a municipality in the northern part of Sweden, where the youth unemployment rate was between 6% and 8%. All 1,083 pupils in the last year of compulsory schooling were included in the study and 98% of them were followed up after five years. The methods of investigation consisted of comprehensive self-administered questionnaires as well as blood pressure measurements and interviews with those who had been unemployed.

Results: The main results of the study are that there is a greater increase in physical and psychological symptoms as well as smoking habits and use of cannabis among long-term unemployed young people than among those not long-term unemployed. In addition systolic blood pressure, alcohol consumption and crime rate increase more among long-term unemployed boys than among others.

Conclusions: Youth unemployment is associated with increased health symptoms, increased systolic blood pressure and a deterioration in health behaviour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology
  • Self Concept
  • Social Problems
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Sweden
  • Unemployment* / psychology