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second period of unemployment, workers were earning 14% less when
returning to work. Irons (2009) reported the following summary of the
potential consequences or
scarring related to long-term economic
￿ Educational achievement: Unemployment and income losses can
reduce educational achievement by threatening early childhood nutri-
tion in the following manner:
￿ The lowering of a family's ability to provide a supportive learning
environment (including adequate health care, summer activities,
and stable housing);
￿ Forcing a delay or abandonment of college plans.
￿ Opportunity:
￿ Recession-induced job and income losses can have lasting conse-
quences on future opportunities for individuals and families;
￿ The increase in poverty that will occur as a result of the recession
will have lasting consequences for children;
￿ A recession should not be thought of as a one-time event that
stresses individuals' and families' investments for only a couple of
￿ Economic downturns will impact the future investment prospects
of all family members, and will have consequences for years to
Holzer (2010) stated that:
High rates of child poverty exist in the United States even in the best of times,
and this poverty tends to limit the health, education, and earnings of adults
who grew up poor throughout their lives. This creates costs not only for the
individuals themselves and their families, but for the U.S. economy as a whole.
The current recession will raise child poverty rates substantially and for many
years to come, thus exacerbating these problems. Even short spells of poverty or
parental unemployment can scar children and youth for many years. Policies
that tend to limit child poverty in the next few years by strengthening the safety
net, raising employment, or improving the skills of disadvantaged children and
youth might thus have a high social payoff over time.”
This chapter has focused on the long-term “scarring” effects of a
parents' unemployment on children. Not only does unemployment affect
children during their childhood, but children who face parental unem-
ployment have been shown to grow into adults with decreased earnings.
According to Taylor et al. (2011) , African Americans and other minorities
have lost disproportionally more wealth during the economic downturn,
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