Publication Details

Rawlings, L., O'Shaughnessy, P., Looi, J. C. L. & Robson, S. J. (2020). Unemployment and Midlife Suicide Rates in Australia 2001-2015: Implications During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Journal of Economics and Business, 3 (3), 1209-1228.


The world is experiencing a massive economic shock from the COVID-19 pandemic. Resulting unemployment and socioeconomic disruption have the potential to lead to a major upswing in the population rate of suicide in Europe and elsewhere. We assessed the association between midlife suicide rates and unemployment for Australia. For the midlife group we found a rapid decrease in the rate from 1970s to 1980s, but a more apparent increase after 2007. The increased male suicide rate coincided with the 2008 global financial crisis. The relationship between worsening employment outcomes, including suicide, is a great tragedy and deserves urgent further investigation.



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