After 20 years of a declining suicide rate among English regions in the United Kingdom, 2008 marked a spike in suicide rates. Due to the rise in unemployment in 2008, suicide rates have rose 8 percent among men and 9 percent among women.

Experts from the University of Liverpool, University of Cambridge and London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, used information gathered by the National Clinical and Health Outcomes Database (NCHOD) between the years 2000-2010, to determine whether the greatest surge in suicide rates is associated with unemployment.

Through information available from unemployment statistics in 93 UK regions, experts found nearly 846 more male suicides and 155 more female suicides between the years of 2008 and 2010. Overall between 2000 and 2010 with each 10 percent increase annually in the number of unemployed individuals, the suicide rates among men increased by 1.4 percent. In addition, across several UK regions, the number of men unemployed increased by 25.6 percent each year between 2008 and 2010. Alongside the increase in unemployed men, there was a 3.6 percent jump in yearly suicides, which equates to 329 suicides that can be accredited to unemployment.

According to the study authors, prior to the economic crisis in 2008, the rate of suicides deceased in England by 57 suicides per year. Between the years 200 and 2007, female suicides decreased by 26 suicides a year.  With several budget cuts of public sector jobs, as well as a few private sector jobs, researchers are worried the human cost of sustained high levels of unemployment will overshadow the benefits of the budget cuts.

Although in 2010 suicide rates slightly decreased, due to a small increase in male employment, there were still a considerable amount of individuals who were unemployed due to budget cuts made between 2010 and 2011.

The authors were unable to determine if job loss caused the increase in the number of suicides.

The study was published in the British Medical Journal.