I believe that the purpose of life is to live a meaningful life. And considering that for most of our waking lives we work, our jobs are therefore quite influential on whether or not we are living with meaning.A society without jobs is a society without meaning.
The biggest challenge I see with the current economy and the “job crisis” is that without jobs, we have a society without meaning. And legions of people without meaning is both sad and scary.
In terms of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, no jobs and no meaning stresses both the top of the pyramid, where people are looking to make a difference with their lives, and the bottom of the pyramid,where survival needs go challenged with food and shelter. The whole “needs” pyramid starts to get pretty wobbly.