Murders, suicides rise along with inflation

Maybe the unemployment rate will finally go down once enough out-of-work people off themselves.

That’s crass, I know. But sometimes you need some gallows humor when facing down an economy that’s still spinning out of control.

There’s some truth behind the dark humor, though. According to a Bloomberg story, both murders and suicides increase as unemployment rises.

This doesn’t exactly rank as the scientific find of the century, I suppose. Few things are as stressful as being out of work, especially in a society in which people tend to define themselves as what they do for a living. It’s no fun saying you’re an out-of-work account executive, is it?

With stress levels so high — and with people struggling to pay their mortgage bills — it’s little surprise, I suppose, that suicides and murders would rise.

The increase isn’t huge, of course. Basically, a 1 percent increase in joblessness results in a 0.8 percent jump in suicide and murder rates, according to a study by Oxford University.