could there be a difference between women’s and men’s experiences with employment and unemployment?


This sounds like an interesting idea, but you may want to begin thinking about how you could focus your research.  In other words, you would need to start thinking about what kind of workers would be included in your study, i.e. certain professions? other skilled or unskilled labor?  Also, could there be a difference between women’s and men’s experiences with employment and unemployment?  There are many things to think about as you continue to work on developing your study. 


Hi Mariana,

It sounds like you have chosen a timely and interesting phenomenon to explore. I recently received a grant to explore the economic impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and nursing staff. I am working in collaboration with an economics professor from a local university to complete our study. There are a few studies that examine how unemployment affects the well-being of individuals; however, limited information can be found on the impact of insecure jobs and factors that exacerbate the consequences of a job loss (Vobemer et al., 2018). Potentially, you could explore those individuals that were not working and had no interest in seeking employment, in comparison to those that were previously working and had a desire to secure employment (Pharr et al., 2012). In a study by Hiswals et al. (2017), researchers conducted a study to explore an individual’s experience of being unemployed and measured his/her perceived well-being. Another study found a correlation between a prolonged timeframe of being unemployed and high consumptions of cigarettes and alcohol (Virtanen, 2013).

As described by Ravitch and Carl (2021), a qualitative approach to your phenomena may be more beneficial because there may be limitations with a quantitative methodology, being that you most likely want to discern various shades of a complex issues associated with different individuals in various contexts. Perhaps, your study could also evaluate the impact job loss had on the household dependents of the displaced employees. Another issue that I have encountered in my place of employment is that staff voluntarily left the workforce out of fear of contracting COVID-19. Potentially, the mental anguish that these employees endured contributed to an instability in their well-being, both mentally and financially.

Your study sounds fascinating and I wish you luck on your endeavor!



Hammarström, A., Ahlgren, C. (2019). Living in the shadow of unemployment -an unhealthy life situation: a qualitative study of young people from leaving school until early adult life. BMC Public Health 19 1661 (2019).

Hiswals, A. S., Marttila, A., Malstam, E., & Macassa, G. (2017). Experiences of unemployment and well-being after job loss during economic recession: Results of a qualitative study in east central Sweden. Journal of Public Health Research, 6(995). 135 – 141.

Pharr, J. R., Moonie, S., & Bungum, T. J. (2012). The impact of unemployment on mental and physical health: Access to health care and health risk behaviors. International Scholarly Research Network, 15, 1-8.

Ravitch, S. M., & Carl, N. M. (2021). Qualitative research: Bridging the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological (2nd ed.). Sage Publications.

Virtanen, P., Janlert, U., & Hammarstrom, A. (2013). Health status and health behaviour as a predictor of occurrence of unemployment and prolonged unemployment. Public Health, 127(1), 46-52.

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