Year: 2023 Source: Science Advances. (2023). 9(28), 1-6. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adg3758 SIEC No: 20231701

Epidemiological studies indicate that labor underutilization and suicide are associated, yet it remains unclear whether this association is causal. We applied convergent cross mapping to test for causal effects of unemployment and underemployment on suicidal behavior, using monthly data on labor underutilization and suicide rates in Australia for the period 2004-2016. Our analyses provide evidence that rates of unemployment and underemployment were significant drivers of suicide mortality in Australia over the 13-year study period. Predictive modeling indicates that 9.5% of the ~32,000 suicides reported between 2004 and 2016 resulted directly from labor underutilization, including 1575 suicides attributable to unemployment and 1496 suicides attributable to underemployment. We conclude that economic policies prioritizing full employment should be considered integral to any comprehensive national suicide prevention strategy.