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This is fascinating: It won't surprise you to learn that working people look forward to and are happiest during the weekend. It might surprise you a little more to learn that the same is true of unemployed people, but that's just what sociologists Cristobal Young and Chaeyoon Lim found. That's because on weekends, people get more time with family and friends:
"Social contact is central to our sense of well-being," Young said. This, the authors find, is what explains much of the weekend happiness and the Monday blues. "People who spend weekends alone get very little of the boost in emotional well-being."

Social time is also important to understanding unemployment, the study finds. People out of work spend most of their extra free time alone. Often, the time is spent doing household chores and watching daytime TV.

"Weekends are a break from unemployment," Young said, "because on Saturday and Sunday, other people are available to spend time with."  [...]

"Unemployment is psychologically devastating," said Young, whose previous research found that the emotional effect of job loss is comparable to losing one's home. "People feel a deep need to be able to account for their lives, and unemployment takes that away from them in a fundamental way."

With such low levels of well-being, he noted that, "ironically, the jobless need a weekend experience much more than workers do."

(Disclosure: Cristobal Young and I overlapped by a couple years in grad school.)

And more:

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 03:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Unemployment Chronicles.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If the United States Wishes to Remain a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    first-world country, then government-based benefits -- retirement, unemployment, retraining, child care, and health-care -- become the logical response of citizens to market forces, to replace the benefits they used to receive from their employers and from the communities where they were able to live stably near family and friends for an entire career. Either businesses pay up front for their workers, or they will have to pay indirectly through higher taxes or lower sales.

    Even slaveholders had to clothe, house, and feed their slaves. We are proving John C. Calhoun right. Workers are worse off than slaves.

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 03:06:34 PM PST

  •  Lest we forget.... (9+ / 0-)

    the weekend, the idea of an eight-hour work day, and the idea of a five day work week were brought to us by labor unions. As we lose unions, we are seeing all of these concepts being eroded.

  •  I've been marginally unemployed for two years now (10+ / 0-)

    And the middle of the week sucks.  You have very little in the way of resources to enjoy your free time so you just float along wallowing in your own self doubt wondering why the interview didn’t lead to a job and then you have to get up for the next interview because if you have a shitty defeatist attitude the interviewer will sense it and that's more gas you can't afford wasted.  And rinse and repeat.  And let's not forget the awful feeling you get having to ask others for help, or the fact that you now have a snap card in your wallet and that's something you never thought you'd ever see.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 03:21:42 PM PST

    •  jbou, I don't know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      whether this will help much: but if you DO get a job and end up working basically every weekend (as I do) the middle of the week doesn't suck so much.

      Basically NOBODY (except me) wants to work weekends: I like it b/c I can go shopping midweek w/out fighting crowds, and hang with friends who likewise have nontraditional schedules.

      English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

      by Youffraita on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 12:00:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Red Foxx used to do a routine about (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LamontCranston, FloridaSNMOM, annan

    being unemployed.  He pointed out that it was hard work.  If you have a job, you get out of bed, you get dressed and then you got to work, at the end of the day you can leave work and go home.  But, if you're unemployed, as soon as you wake up, "You're on the job"

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 03:43:20 PM PST

  •  Being unemployed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, Dirtandiron

    is so hard. Been there, done that. You're alone during the week because everybody else is at work. You're alone looking for job after job and not hearing from most of them.  Weekends are a reprieve from all that unless someone starts asking you how the job hunt is going and that's a real mood killer unless you've got one lined up.

    It's the policy stupid

    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 04:29:38 PM PST

  •  Because on the weekend we take a break from (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, Youffraita, Dirtandiron

    the drumbeat in our brains - get a job, get a job, get a job!

    I am going to republish this to The Unemployment Chronicles.

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 04:43:40 PM PST

    •  And on the weekend, you fit in. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Most Awesome Nana, Dirtandiron

      Go to the grocery store on Saturday afternoon, no one looks at you twice.

      Go on a Tuesday afternoon, and it must FEEL like everyone is wondering why you're not at work...especially if you're a man.

      Sure, you might be a shift worker, or a part-time worker, or someone who works at home...or you're writing the great American novel in your head while you run errands.

      There can be a thousand reasons why you're not "at work" on a weekday afternoon.

      But if you were at work before, and now you're not...on weekdays, you may feel -- and look -- lost.

      On the weekend, you're happily invisible.

      "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

      by gfre on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:56:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What job seekers should do NOW (0+ / 0-)

    SKIP the job boards and start networking, if the opportunities lie.  Job boards are not helping stop the unemployment rate and neither are job fairs or recruiting agencies (although recruiters do appreciate referrals if they aren't dicks).

    In the Bay Area, LOADS of networking opportunities and ways to get connected.  Just use Eventbrite & Meetup, type in "networking" and

    Best event you'll ever go to:  Mark Sackett's Art of Active Networking.  If you're in SF, NYC, LA or elsewhere where this is around in the evening, DO NOT miss it.  A number of people who are unemployed (including one man who had a secure position at Bank of America for over 20 years) find this networking event to be the most useful.

    And NO, networking is not referring to you selling yourself out or succumbing to prostitution.  It's building business relationships so if you know how to network well, then you may be in the workforce faster.  Plenty of super connectors on LinkedIn (which should be your calling card and used).

    There is NO other way to get back into the workforce faster.  Not until there's more stimulus and unfortunately, with Congress being gridlocked right now (thanks to the Tea Party and GOP), networking is the way to go.

    Open to any questions anyone has.

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