Amid a recent upsurge in support for a national job guarantee program, L. Randall Wray, Stephanie A. Kelton, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Scott Fullwiler, and Flavia Dantas outline a new proposal for a federally funded program with decentralized administration. Their Public Service Employment (PSE) program would offer a job, paying a uniform living wage with a basic benefits package—to all who are ready and willing to work. In advance of an upcoming report detailing the economic impact of the PSE, this policy note presents an overview of the goals and structure of the program in the context of current labor market trends and the prospects of poverty reduction.
Research and Reports
All blogs filed under Employment
The Price We Pay: Economic Costs of Barriers to Employment for Former Prisoners and People Convicted of Felonies
This article from the Center for Economic and Policy Priorities looks at employment within the former prison population as well as those with felony convictions.
The report finds that "hat there were between 14 and 15.8 million working-age people with felony convictions in 2014, of whom between 6.1 and 6.9 million were former prisoners." These individuals face a number of barriers to employment including "erosion of basic job skills, disruption of formal education, and the loss of social networks that can improve job-finding prospects. Those with felony convictions also face legal restrictions that lock them out of many government jobs and licensed professions."
As a result, "this report finds that there was a 0.9 to 1.0 percentage-point reduction in the overall employment rate in 2014, equivalent to the loss of 1.7 to 1.9 million workers. In terms of the cost to the economy as a whole, this suggests a loss of about $78 to $87 billion in annual GDP."
In this article Dr. Stephanie Kelton looks at the "dual mandate." The Dual Mandate is a monetary policy imposed by Congress in 1913 which "charges the Federal Reserve with responsibility for achieving two broad macroeconomic goals: “maximum employment and stable prices.”"
She discusses the different points of view that the different sides of the aisle take on the issue: "Much has been made (especially by those on the left) of the benefits of having a dual mandate." in contrast to the republicans "Not a single Republican expressed support for the dual mandate when the issue came up during a presidential debate on September 12, 2011.
Dr. Kelton then discusses some of the solutions put forward but offers her own take on the situation: "Nearly everyone seems to believe one or both of the following: (1) high levels of employment and low rates of inflation are worthwhile goals; and (2) the Fed is the right agency to deliver on these goals. I don’t dispute the former, but I often wonder about the latter."