There's a very relevant section in this book, "The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies" -, that I just read last night:

His view is strongly supported by the work of economist Andrew Oswald, who found that joblessness lasting six months or longer harms feelings of well-being and other measures of mental health about as much as the death of a spouse, and that little of this decline is due to the loss of income; instead, it arises from a loss of self-worth.