Immigrants take the brunt of the jobs crisis

Immigrants were key drivers behind the economic boom, as they added skills and productivity to lift performance. Now, almost everywhere migrants are feeling the brunt of the crisis. Immigrants are particularly vulnerable during prolonged economic downturns, and this crisis has had the effect of throwing many immigrant workers out of work at a higher rate than for native-born workers. One reason is that immigrants tend to work in sectors which are sensitive to swings in the economic climate, that is, where demand for workers rises sharply in good times and drops fast during bad. (more…)

Suicide declining since the 1980s

Suicide is a tragedy for individuals, their families and friends. But it can also reflect wider social problems, including depression and poor quality of life. For that reason, rates of suicide can offer insights into aspects of a society’s overall health.

There were an estimated  140,000 suicides in OECD countries in 2006, the most recent year for which internationally comparable data is available. Death rates were lowest in the southern European countries of Greece, Italy and Spain, as well as Mexico and the United Kingdom, at fewer than seven deaths per 100,000 people. They were highest in Korea, Hungary, Japan and Finland, at 18 or more deaths per 100 000 people.

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