Lay-Offs Ruin Trust

Cynical after a job loss? Well, you and everyone else. And it turns out, that cynicism can last for years.

A study published in the journal Social Science Research reports that experiencing a job loss from redundancy, downsizing, or restructuring can cause a worker to lose their faith in their fellow man. Researchers looked at data from a longitudinal study that surveys 6,840 people born in March 1958. Specifically, researchers looked at data from 1991 (when participants were 33) to 2008 (when they were 50) and noted whether they’d lost jobs due to redundancy, layoffs, or downsizing.

In 1991, the 33 year olds were happy to agree with the statement “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted, or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people.” In fact, 69% agreed. However, at 50, the numbered dropped to 54%.

At 50, people who had experienced job losses like layoffs were 4.5% less likely to trust people that those who hadn’t experienced those kinds of job losses. That number rose to 7% amongst those whose sense of self was defined by their work. More worryingly, these numbers lasted for years after the layoffs.

That’s a pretty depressing finding, so here’s puppies. Thanks, modern employment!

Photo courtesy of flickr


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