Post-Recession, Emotional Scars Persist

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Job seekers at an job fair in New York. Will the emotional toll of a layoff ease with new employment? (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Housing in Massachusetts is getting hot again, and the state has regained the number of jobs it lost during the economic downturn. Almost five years since the Great recession hit the state and the nation, it looks like we have weathered the storm.

But for plenty of people, the psychological scars of the recession still remain. Almost every American household was affected in some way by the millions of layoffs that occurred across the country. And while many have since recovered their jobs, the layoff still hurts.

It turns out that this is normal. Research shows that regardless of the unemployment rate, layoffs at any time have deep and long-lasting effects.


Susan Winterberg, Research Associate at Harvard Business School. She's working on an HBS project called “Reconsidering Lay-Offs.”

Erik Gregory, Program Director and Chair of the Organizational and Leadership Psychology Program at Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

This segment aired on June 14, 2013.


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