This article synthesizes the work-related dynamics that contribute to economic inequality and identifies ways for psychologists to offer their expertise to mitigate poverty through employment and re-employment. We summarize scholarship from subspecialties under the umbrella of work psychology to explore concepts germane to understanding unemployment, underemployment, and reemployment. The review and synthesis is organized around 4 primary themes that concern the relationships between work, economic inequality, and poverty. First, unemployment has devastating financial and psychological consequences for individuals, families, and communities. Second, reemployment is challenging to acquire but crucial to recovering from unemployment and escaping poverty. Third, systemic and societal factors, such as employment bias and gaps in employment law, shape and constrain employment processes for individuals and organizations. Fourth, the nature of employment is changing because of technological advances, growth in the contingent labor force, and globalized business relationships that introduce new concerns for underemployment, unemployment, and reemployment processes for individuals. We conclude by charting important directions for future research, describing promising interventions for practitioners, and summarizing opportunities for psychologists to apply their knowledge and expertise to support policies that can alleviate poverty. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
SOURCE: Thompson, M. N., & Dahling, J. J. (2019). Employment and poverty: Why work matters in understanding poverty. American Psychologist, 74(6), 673-684.
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