The coronavirus pandemic hit the US hard over the past year with the rising number of cases and deaths. Meanwhile, it also brought the loss of jobs and thousands of fatalities due to unemployment. According to a recent study, pandemic-related unemployment caused more than 30,000 deaths alone in the US.
The researchers compiled data from various resources and found that the loss of jobs could be the reason behind these deaths during the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, the researchers observed far more deaths among the black community of the country. According to the data, these minority communities contribute to 19% of the deaths caused due to unemployment during the pandemic. Meanwhile, these people only constitute only 12% of the population of the US.
The findings of this study appeared recently in the American Journal of Public Health.
According to the researchers, the death of 30,000 individuals due to unemployment is a small number as compared to the deaths caused by the actual infection. However, this is only one of the consequences of unemployment. The researchers believe that we will see more effects of unemployment in the US over the coming years.
The co-author of this study, Kate Duchowny from the University of California said that we will observe a ripple effect in the coming years. She also mentioned that fatalities due to unemployment can occur for many reasons. People lose their health insurance when they lose their job which can hinder their access to healthcare. Moreover, some people make their way into substance abuse or commit suicide in this situation.
Duchowny also mentioned the future concerns due to the widespread loss of jobs in the country. Many people will lose the opportunity of an early diagnosis of their disease due to loss of health care insurance. This means that the future consequences of a lack of healthcare can become disastrous for Americans.
According to the data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate of pandemic-related unemployment spiked up to 14.7% during April 2020. This occurred during the peak restrictions and lockdown when many people lost their jobs at once. Meanwhile, these people also lost their health insurance due to the loss of jobs.
The loss of health insurance is not only dangerous for the individual but a threat during a pandemic as well. People may delay coronavirus testing due to a lack of funds or may not receive the proper healthcare if they get the symptoms of infection. This can halt the progress against the coronavirus and cause a rise in cases.
The rate of unemployment before the coronavirus pandemic was 3.5% which rose to an all-time high during the lockdown in April. However, the figures dropped down 6.3%, as stated by the BLS in January. Research shows that loss of jobs can increase the risk of death. Meanwhile, this problem during an ongoing pandemic adds fuel to the fire. The experts also suggest that calculating the number of fatalities can become difficult due to several factors associated with it. However, the expected figures are much higher than those published.