OECD report measures human cost of crisis

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 5, 2013

How’s Life? [November 5, 2013] ”finds that subjective well-being deteriorated in countries most affected by the crisis. Between 2007 and 2012, reported average life satisfaction declined by more than 20% in Greece, 12% in Spain, and 10% in Italy. However, moderate increases were recorded in Germany, Israel, Russia, Mexico and Sweden. The report also finds that citizens in the hardest-hit euro area countries have lost trust in their governments and institutions. The percentage of people in these countries claiming to trust national government fell by 10 percentage points in the five years leading to 2012. In the OECD countries as a whole, less than half of those surveyed said they trusted their governments – the lowest level recorded since 2006…Work has a major influence on well-being, says the report. Achieving the right balance between requirements and opportunities drives people’s commitment at work, and is key to strengthening their capacity to cope with demanding jobs. In Europe, 50% of persons who face poor work organisation and workplace relationships report that their job impairs their health, compared with only 15% among those experiencing favourable conditions. With appropriate resources and support, even highly demanding jobs can be fulfilling. But without them, the accumulation of stress factors in the workplace frequently leads to health problems.”

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