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  • Work did bestow dignity, status, meaning. Wasn't that why people dreaded unemployment, why some men found retirement so traumatic?

  • ... in modern society, fear of unemployment remains the darkest of the shadows thrown by the past. In an industrial order, a man out of work is almost a man out of life.

  • I often wonder how we can make the more fortunate in this country fully aware of the fact that the problem of the unemployed is not a mechanical one. It is a problem alive and throbbing with human pain.

  • ... of all the aspects of social misery nothing is so heartbreaking as unemployment.

  • For a hot-shot CEO taking over a troubled company, mass firings are the ultimate quick fix, the accounting equivalent of crack: cheap, easy to score, instantly gratifying, and highly addictive.

  • ... under a monopolistic economic system the opportunity to earn a living by one's labour comes to be regarded as a privilege instead of a natural right. Women are simply held to be less entitled to this privilege than men.

  • Many men ridicule the idea that it can be scientifically handled. They tell us the unemployed have always been with us, and always must be. It is the oldest reason in the world for tolerating injustice and misery.

  • Unemployment is a reproach to a democratic government.

    • Joan Robinson,
    • "What Has Become of the Keynesian Revolution?" in Milo Keynes, ed., Essays on John Maynard Keynes ()
  • Unemployment is an assault ...

    • Fumiko Hayashi,
    • "Vagabond's Song" (1927), in Yukiko Tanaka, ed., To Live and to Write ()
  • I had never before seen my friends come in beaten, their heads laid open, their noses broken, or seen them jailed for peaceably demonstrating that they wanted work. I had only known how workers lived. Now I was face to face with what our society did to workers who could get no work.

  • Have you noticed that all the news, statistics, strategies about unemployment are provided by those who are employed? As soon as you are unemployed you cease to exist ...

    • Dale Spender,
    • 1982, in Dale and Lynne Spender, Scribbling Sisters ()