Expert Comment: Unemployment could undermine social trust in Europe

December 03, 2022

My recent study analysed data from 29 European countries and more than 200 sub-regions, including the UK, and found unemployment affects social trust over time. Predicted Levels of Generalised Social Trust, Author elaboration from European Social Survey Data (2008-2018). In regions where the average unemployment is low (such as South-East England), people who have experienced unemployment (Long Scar) have lower social trust than those who have never been unemployed (No Scar). However, in regions where the average unemployment is very high (over 10%, such as Southern Italy), unemployment experiences do not matter, as social trust is lower in general. Unemployment is double trouble when it comes to social trust, which is essential for international solidarityIf a vicious cycle between unemployment and social distrust arises, it could be difficult to break, with potentially dire effects for social cohesion and even for democracy.

The source of this news is from University of Oxford