INTRODUCING a federally funded employment program that would give every full-time worker the weekly minimum wage would reduce the unemployment rate from 10 to 4 per cent.
That's according to the University of Newcastle's Centre of Full Employment and Equity, which has issued a new report that says investing $51.7 billion over 12 months to implement a program it has called Job Guarantee would deliver an increase in GDP of $101 billion, create 1.2 million jobs and address the economic crisis without triggering inflation.
Report authors William F. Mitchell and Martin Watts said the Job Guarantee was based on the buffer stock principle and would be an "unconditional offer of public employment at a socially inclusive minimum wage to anyone who wants to work but cannot find employment".
"The Job Guarantee would be a permanent buffer of jobs that would always be available to the most disadvantaged workers as an employment safety net, thus eliminating all involuntary unemployment at all times," they wrote.
Job Guarantee workers would meet community "unfulfilled needs" including environmental restoration, community services to the aged, the youth, and the disabled, and other useful activities.
Workers would choose their hours.
"The aim is to replace unemployment and time-based under-employment with paid employment... so that those who are at any point in time surplus to the requirements of the private sector (and mainstream public sector) can earn a reasonable living rather than suffer the indignity and insecurity of underemployment, poverty and social exclusion."