Low- and medium-skilled U.S. workers face a higher mortality rate if they lose their job than German workers do, says a study out of the University of British Columbia.
Access to employment protections like the restriction of termination or unemployment benefits differs significantly in the U.S. and Germany: the States have low levels of protection, while Germany's protections are robust.
"Employment insurance makes a difference to the health of the most vulnerable populations, low-wage and poorly-educated workers," said lead researcher Chris McLeod in a statement. For those workers, he added, "it's not just about losing your job but losing your job and being at the bottom of the (labor) market."
Researchers found that all unemployed workers in the study had an increased risk of dying, but this risk was more pronounced in U.S. workers in nearly every situation: the unemployed American was seven times more likely to die and the medium-skilled American was 3.5 times more likely to die than employed, high-skilled Germans or Americans.
"It's important that we recognize how changes to employment and unemployment protections could inadvertently affect the health of the most vulnerable populations," McLeod said.
The 90011 zip code in South L.A. is currently resting at a 13.24 percent unemployment level, slightly higher than L.A.'s rate of 13.1 percent. Nearly 49 percent of its population – which is more than 101,000 people – is not in the labor force, and most who are work in production, transportation and material-moving occupations.
The area's median household income is $23,851.
Photo by Christoph via Flickr Creative Commons.