Rözer, Jesper, Bas Hofstra, Matthew Brashears and Beate Volker. Does unemployment lead to isolation? The consequences of unemployment for social networks. Social Networks
summary: Popular accounts in both social science and society claim that unemployment goes together with social withdrawal. However, empirical support for this conclusion is largely derived from cross-sectional studies or indirect measurements of social contacts. In this study, we argue that consequences of unemployment for personal networks differ across social groups and by length of unemployment. Using longitudinal data from the Swiss Household Panel (1999–2010), we focus on three frequently employed social network statistics: network size, contact frequency, and perceived support by friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances. We estimate how short (<1 year) and long term (>1 year) unemployment relates to these network characteristics for men and women, people below and above 50 years of age, and lower and higher educated individuals. Our results provide a more-nuanced perspective on the commonly assumed social withdrawal following unemployment.