According to researchers, suicide rates rise when investments tank and the job market becomes less forgiving, especially among those in the post-college, pre-retirement age range.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published in the American Journal of Public Health, “Impact of Business Cycles on the U.S. Suicide Rates, 1928-2007” compared suicide rates of people aged 25 to 64 to economic conditions of the times.
Although the study’s time frame was too old to take the most recent recession into account, it unsurprisingly found that the largest increase in the suicide rate came during the Great Depression, when it rose to an all-time high in 1932, the last full year of the Depression.
Said the acting director of CDC’s Injury Center’s Division of Violence Prevention:
“Knowing suicides increased during economic recessions and fell during expansions underscores the need for additional suicide prevention measures when the economy weakens. It is an important finding for policy makers and those working to prevent suicide.”