06/28/2012 01:06 pm ET

Unemployed Americans More Likely To Die Than The Employed: Study

As if the millions of unemployed Americans didn't have enough to deal with, a new study shows that they are more likely to die too.

Unemployed "minimum and medium skilled" Americans are about seven times more likely to die during their unemployment spell than their employed, "highly skilled" counterparts, according to a recent study published in the American Journal for Public Health. The report, conducted by the University of British Columbia, also found that the mortality rate of unemployed Americans is higher than that of unemployed Germans.

Harvard Professor Peter Hall, one of the authors of the study, said in a press release that its findings "show, social policy matters not only to people's well-being but to the very length of their lives."

And its a lot of people we're talking about. U.S. employers only added 69,000 jobs in May as the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent.

The report also found that the health risks of unemployment are greater for Americans than for job seekers in other Western nations. The reason, the report argues is other nations' government policies. According to The Economist, Germany implemented tough sanctions against employers seeking to lay off workers. In addition, Germany provides more generous unemployment benefits than that which unemployed Americans receive, according to the University of British Columbia.

The new study echos the findings of others indicating that unemployment reduces one's life-expectancy.

The mortality rates of high-seniority male workers affected by mass layoffs is 50 to 100 percent higher than it is for unaffected workers, according to an April study from Columbia University and the Chicago Federal Reserve researchers.