The Job Guarantee

The job guarantee. This is not full employment that may still mean an unemployment rate of 2-4%. This is a job for everyone. This would not only reduce poverty because the unemployed are well represented in poverty numbers. It would see an end to the bickering and ideological wars over unemployment benefits. Work for the dole and stereotypes about the lazy unemployed. The private sector has never and will never be able to provide employment to everyone. They are unlikely to hire those they are most adverse to. The long-term unemployed, the disabled worker, and the mature-aged worker. The job guarantee is the way forward.

A high youth unemployment rate in a suburb of Sydney could disappear within months. A rural town neglected by business. Could see everyone get a job. Suburbs where just about everyone in the street are unemployed. Would see just about everyone in the street gain employment. A household that had intergenerational poverty. Could now have a family member gain employment for the first time. A job guarantee could be offered in all circumstances. A global financial crisis. Fall in the iron ore price, partly brought on my BHP driving down the price per tonne. A fall in economic activity here or abroad. The job guarantee is a government program that could be rolled out and paid for. In all of these circumstances.

The Centre for Full Employment and Equity estimates it would cost about 23.3 billion a year. This is out of government revenues of over 330 billion a year. The Australian government already spends about 9 billion a year on unemployment benefits. Over a billion a year on Job Services Australia. The Federal government would get around 20-30% of it back via income taxes each year. State governments could help pay for it. They generate over 50 billion a year just in GST revenue which would more than pay for the scheme. Even the private sector could contribute funds.

Public works programs are not just make believe. They provided millions with employment during the Great Depression in the United States. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India provided those in rural areas with employment. It would see poverty significantly reduced. It would see more money being spent in the economy. More GST revenue for the states. The states should be pushing for the job guarantee. It would see entire families change their situation almost overnight. It would see entire suburbs marred in poverty become prosperous.