This research uses data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation to explore the relationship between unemployment and material hardship for women who were employed at the beginning of the 1996 survey panel. Using two-stage logistic regression analysis, we find that, controlling for demographics and initial poverty status, having been or currently being unemployed increases the relative odds of experiencing one or more of six hardship measures by half and doubles the relative likelihood of lacking telephone service or failing to receive needed medical care. Experiences of food insufficiency, inadequate dental care, and loss of or inability to pay for housing increase more than sixty percent with unemployment. Those previously or currently unemployed are also substantially more likely to have difficulty maintaining utility service than the continuously employed. The paper concludes with a discussion of policies that would enhance employment tenure and help avoid hardship during unemployment.