The study, which was funded by the University of Zurich, analysed mortality data from the World Health Organisation in 63 countries from 2000 to 2011.
Of the approximately 233,000 suicides examined for each year, around 45,000, or 20%, were linked to unemployment, the study shows.
What’s more is the study found that there was an uptick in suicides following the 2008 financial crisis. In 2007, there were 41,148 suicides associated with unemployment. For comparison, in 2009, there were 46,131 suicides tied to unemployment — an increase of 4,983 following the economic downturn.
That said, there needs to be an emphasis on prevention, especially during period of economic decline, the study noted.
“This finding means that there is a continuous need to focus on preventing suicides, even more so in economically prosperous, stable time periods than in times of lower prosperity, when resources are scarcer. These efforts are necessary and valuable not only in countries with high, but also in those with low, unemployment rates,” the study said.