The relationship between unemployment and crime

the relationship between unemployment and crime

Various authors have tested for the presence of a relationship between unemployment and crime, employing time‐series or cross‐sectional data. However, little. ABSTRACT. In this paper, we analyze the relationship between unemployment and crime. Using. U.S. state data, we estimate the effect of unemployment on the . The Relationship between Crime and. Unemployment. Matthew D. Melick ' Illinois Wesleyan University. This Article is brought to you for free and open access.

However, there are different types of crimes that are carried out and not all can be directly linked to unemployment. In recent research, studies have shown that property crime can be linked to unemployment, whereas, violent crime such as murder and rape are not strongly related to unemployment. In other studies, it shows that where rate of unemployment is high the rate of crime is like to be high too.

It is not easy to come to a conclusion regarding this matter because there are different studies carried out which have given contradicting results.

Most people believe that the steady rise of unemployment leads to a relative increase in crime. This occurs when people are laid off at the closure of a company or not able to be employed at all after training. Some people resolve to criminal activities such as burglary, drug peddling and other crimes in order to make an income. Unemployment is high among young people.

  • Relationship between unemployment and crime

People who have completed training and are ready for the job market stay unemployed. Another group of young people affected by unemployment is those who are laid off because of lack of college education. When the young people are unemployed for a long time, they lose hope of getting employment Weatherburn, 1.

the relationship between unemployment and crime

Therefore, unemployment and crime affect people who are under the age of 40 and these are mostly young men. This is because most criminal activities are carried out by people; thus, unemployed people over 40 years are not likely to enter into criminal activities. Research studies show that there is a link between young people who have been unemployed for more than one year and property crime. Most young people get involved in selling drugs such as heroin, marijuana and other dangerous drugs because they make quick money.

Economists and researchers believe that when the rate of unemployment is declining the rate of criminal activities is also declining.

the relationship between unemployment and crime

There are usually high rates of unemployment in areas where crimes are very high. The researchers argue that in these areas, the number of youth who have been out of work for more than one year is extremely high. Another argument is that areas with high rates of poverty and child abuse and neglect increase the rate of crime.

Poverty is caused by lack of employment which leads to children resolving to crime at an early age as a source of income. The effects of recession on companies and manufacturing industries cause people to be laid off.

These people will spend some time waiting to be recalled, however, if the recession takes long, and the unemployed young people continue increasing, the rate of crime is likely to increase. If someone stays out of employment for a long time chances of getting employment are minimized, and they think of crime as a last resort Weatherburn, 1.

Statistics shows that between andthe rates of criminal activities declined almost at the same rate as the rate of unemployment declined. The link in crime and unemployment rates shows that when people have a legal source of income, they do not commit criminal activities. Unemployment results more in property crime than violent crime as research results show that most people who commit property crimes are unemployed. Crimes such as murder and rape are weakly connected to unemployment, but can be related to other psychological problems such as alcohol and drug abuse.

When there is a minimal decrease in unemployment rates, the rate of property crimes falls significantly. This study has been conducted in different states, and the results have been stable.

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In the case of rape and murder crimes, the study shows that when more people who are likely to be victims of crime are at work, the rate of these crimes decreases. Therefore, female employment helps decrease the rate of crime in the society. This is because most rape victims are usually women and the offenders are men. In another study, men who lack college training are paid low wages, this makes them despair and turn to criminal activities. Between the year andcrime increased significantly, at the same time, there was a steady increase in unemployment and reduction of wages among young men.


With the increase in unemployment, there is a decrease in the production of new items and consumption rate. There is lesser stuff on the market to get stolen. Cantor and Land noted that in order for a crime to take place, there is need of a motivated offender along with a suitable target. InCantor and Land developed a theory-based model which suggested two ways in which economic activity can influence the rate of crimes.

The first one focused on increasing the motivation for committing crimes in the people with a decrease in monetary supplies, giving rise to lack of social control. The second way focussed on influencing the vulnerability and availability of criminals which gives rise to opportunities of committing crimes.

the relationship between unemployment and crime

On the basis of expectations with the theory and the research work done, the strongest pattern of crime motivation is for the property crimes like larceny, burglary and theft of motor vehicle. According to the Federal Government, the count only limits to the people who are available for work but have no job.

Crime File: Jobs and Crime

Owing to lack of employment opportunities, according to Economic Policy Institute, more than 2. A study by two scholars from Florida State University tried to find the link between growing crime rates and unemployment.

the relationship between unemployment and crime

Gary Kleck and Dylan Jackson undertook people falling into four kinds of joblessness. Type 2 Unemployed- people who worked part-time but desired to have a full-time work.

Relationship between unemployment and crime [FREE Example!]

It was found that Type 4 people are more likely to commit crimes like robbery and burglary. People who were unemployed but were looking for jobs are not likely to commit burglary or robbery. Underemployed people might engage in the robbery. They further divided the group into five statuses- Unemployed according to the Government, out of work because of socially acceptable reasons, underemployed, out of work without any reason, fully employed.