February 7, 2009

Suicide Rate Up, is it a depression?

POLITICS - I just spoke to a relative in Prince Edward Island who told me a local farmer had hung himself in his barn. His wife had lost her job and his farm was doing really poorly.

Sadly its part of a very real economic problem. A lot of people are losing their jobs. Since October, Canada's economy has shed 213,000 positions, nearly all of them full-time. In the United States its even worse, where 598,000 jobs were lost in January alone, perhaps a sign that the USA is in a depression, not a recession.

And for those people who are unemployed there is now a hiring freeze at a lot of companies, which means the economy is going to get worse, not better.

What we need is for Ottawa and Washington to start delivering on those stimulus packages they've been promising. The situation is getting desperate and we're seeing two things: Rising suicide rates and crime rates.

Between 2000 and 2005 the suicide rate in the United States went up 25% during the Bush economy. Thanks to the economic mess George W. Bush has left the USA in the suicide rate is expected to rise much higher.

Note: A depression is any recession that lasts longer than a year. The current recession started in July 2007.

During the Great Depression the unemployment rate (25%) coincided with a 20% increase in the suicide rate. As joblessness spread, 17 persons for every 100,000 in the population took their own lives, up from 14 before the Depression. (According to the Center for Disease Control, the USA suicide rate for 2005 (the latest year this information is available) was 11 persons for every 100,000, or a total of 32,637 deaths.)

See Also:
Military Suicides in Canada
Suicide Entertainment

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