Unemployment and Crime

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I. Introduction

For a long time, crime has been the most irritating issue among social disorders. Individual in society are always concern about crime and the its implication it has on society and country. People are always scared about what happen in their community and always look forward to ways the can reduce or stop it. Many factors go into why crime always happen in society but the most common one we always look at is whether the individual involved in crime have prior history of it. Unemployment has always factored that society believes it causes crime. Individuals with employment means they out of job out and at lost wage. Can unemployment be the cause of crime in society?

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In my paper, I will look at the connection between crime and Unemployment in the united states using Secondary Data analysis avoid to me. Notwithstanding, I will also examine the connections between crime and other major factor such as, stress, education, neighborhoods and age and look at what can be done to reduce recidivism rate for unemployed individuals involved in criminal activities. Also, it important to have information and better understanding on how these factors affect criminal activity and discover possible solution and suggestion in future

II. Literature Review

1) Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime

(Raphael & Winter-Ember, 2001) analyzes the connection that exist between unemployment and crime. The author used U.S. state data to find how unemployment rate of the country plays a major role on the effect the seven felony offenses: burglary, larceny, auto theft, murder, rape, robbery and assault The initial three crimes are all of property crimes whiles the rest are violent crimes .The author find a good existence between unemployment and property crimes but shows less for violent crimes.

2) Poverty and Crime

Besbris, Friedson, & Sharkey, 2016 in their book shows how poverty is related to crime on both individual and community level by using the rational choice theory. They clarify the possibility of crime to happen, the offender mostly weighs in the cost and benefit they get from it. Individuals living in poverty are most likely to be involved in crime as the only way to escape from their present circumstance. The author used different theories to lifibrate their stance on poverty and crime, but have less empirical evidence to their claims

3) Unemployment and crime: Neighborhood level panel approach

Andresen 2012 examine the relationship between the state of economy and its effect on unemployment .By doing so they look to examining the facts that goes into it such as motivation for crime .The author looks into the relationships between unemployment and crime using the neighbhood level date and hybrid ,regression methods and also the look at different mechanisms which as rational choice theory, strain theory ,and opportunity theory which divide these models and looks at the effect of employment into motivation and opportunity facts; that is ,opportunity effect dominates the motivation effect ,particularly for property crime .

4) The Effect of Education on Crime; Evidence from Inmates, Arrest and Self -Report

Lochner and Moretti 2003, talks about different ways in which education can have positive impact on crime for offenders. The author shows empirical evidences to support their claims that shows that people who have an advanced education are less likely to commit crime and always try to stay out of crime because they know what lays ahead them and expand their future working chances. They do by looking into the recidivism rate for individuals release from prison and being provided with necessary tool they will need better their life same as the arrest and self-report among offenders.

5) Link between unemployment and Crime in the U.S: The A Markov -Switching approach

Fallahi, and Rodr?­guez, (2014) use the Markov-switching approach find the different ways in which unemployment rate and the four different of property crimes in the U.S.They do so my showing empirical correlation within the that exist between unemployment rate and property crime .They found that there is good chance but not relate important relation between unemployment rate ,Burglary ,larceny and robbery to occur but unemployment have a bad influence on motor-vehicle theft .

III. Methods; Existing /Secondary Data

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes information on employment and wages by occupation, including career information, employment levels and projections, and various types of earnings data each year to determine the raise and fall of employment in the society , The United States Census Bureau is also other agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, that primary also publish data that indicate the r producing data every 10 years . The UCR Program, by the FBI, began in 1929 and collects information on crimes reported to law enforcement authorities: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The FBI annually publishes their findings in the spring of the following each year, followed by a detailed annual report, Crime in the United States, issued in the fall. National Institute of Justice provides data on the recidivism rate in the U.S based on the number of inmates that are released in the past three years and check if they have be rearrests ,reconviction or return to prison with or without new sentence .Recidivisms may be defined individuals committing crimes after their release and receives another sanctions or intervention for the past crimes.

IV. Independent and Dependent Variable

Unemployment, education, Recidivism rate among inmates, motivation of offenders on property crime are the independent variables, while crime rate is the dependent variable? The Unity of analysis in my paper will be Individuals: Inmates that just release, those that got arrested, and those reporting themselves to their parole officers and Groups .To fully understand this research and make suggestion, I look at then unemployment rate of the nation which is current around 4.1%.that is big step forward as nation why is crime always occurring in society frequently? Anybody that is out of job and at the loss of wage it this result can be classify as Unemployed Education is something that be define as process of acquiring knowledge through institution, such as university, Vocational schools and many more. Am going to measure all these variables and getting better understanding of them. By doing so am to compare and see these the difference them. Looking at the number of individuals with High education, they are less likely to commit crimes as to those with lower education.

That is because the those with high education have a better chance of getting themselves better playing jobs and have more education level and understand how society operate more better those with lower Education .2.7% as of 2015 but has decline to 0.6% in the recent years. are the people with college degree and yet still unemployed? That that represent 0.5% of prison population. Recidivism is variable that needs to be investigate as 68.8% of people release from prison are likely to be rearrested because they come out with no or low education or vocational skills that can help them live life without going back there again. with most of this inmate coming without low or no education. Property crime offenders are more likely to be arrested for the same crime because it easy to break in others house and steal from them when they are around. Crime rate has fallen as compare decades ago, yet the society has a fear and believed that crime is on the raise. The FBI report dedicate that violent crimes and property crime declining 2.6% in 2015.

Motivation among offenders is something most research ignore when they are investigating why these individuals are always on edge to part of such crimes. Induvial who have engaged in criminal activities looks at the opportunity available to them to reengage in crimes. These offenders are more likely to turn back to crime to better their living condition in order not be part of poverty line which continue to grow to 12.7% with average house income of $24,339. Unemployment has a great cause of property crime during due to the existing off in models of aggregate property crime as well as models of individual felonies. However, there wasnt many consistencies was found for violent crime during the time of research but moreover did find out that more for the crimes of murder and rape, the initial results indicate that unemployment is negatively related to these crimesThe results from this study indicate that unemployment and crime depend highly on the cost of unemployment in a larger perspective. According to the results of this study, it seems that higher unemployment does not solely lead to expenses directly related to unemployment, but also have indirect effects in the form of increased property crime but less effect on other crime.


Belmont reports which enforce three Ethical Concern: Respect for person, Beneficence and Justice but since am working only with secondary data and statics, there is nowhere in my research that I violate rules but rather my research will help provide details regarding employment for individuals in order to prevent them from criminal activities. My research was not bias or discriminatory but fair when it comes to the method, I applied


  1. Raphael, S., & Winter?Ebmer, R. (2001). Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime.
  2. J Andresen, M. A. (2012). Unemployment and crime: A neighborhood level panel data approach. Social Science Research, 41(6), 1615-1628. doe: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.07.003
  3. Journal of Law & Economics, 44(1), 259-283. doi:10.1086/320275
  4. Fallahi, F., & Rodr?­guez, G. (2014). Link between unemployment and crime in the US: A markov-switching approach. Social Science Research, 45, 33-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2013.12.007.
  5. Besbris, M., Friedson, M., Sharkey, P. (2016) The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Poverty
  6. Lochner, L., Moretti, E. (2003) The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmate, Arrests and Self- Reports.
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Unemployment and Crime. (2019, May 31). Retrieved December 8, 2022 , from

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