Cheers for President Biden’s focus on Job Growth! Getting jobless people back to work certainly beats extended unemployment benefits, though these should be available as long as joblessness remains high. However, the general fiscal stimulus that seems to be the President’s strategy for job growth is not the most efficient or effective way to create jobs and put people back to work.
Direct government job creation—based on updated versions of New Deal programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration—can work faster, create more jobs per dollar of stimulus spending, better target the job creation effect of the spending where unemployment is highest, and ensure a fairer distribution of employment opportunities. This strategy—like the New Deal approach–would not only benefit the jobless but repair and enhance the nation’s environmental, physical, and cultural resources.
A permanent government job creation program for unemployment that exceeds the usual, 26-week limit would be a step toward the guarantee of useful, living-wage work for all.
“Biden Focusing Economic Policy on Job Growth,” NY Times, January 19, 2021 . p1.
Trudy Goldberg, Chair, NJFAN