Public Policy Brief Highlights No. 50A | February 1999
Public Employment and Economic Flexibility
The Job Opportunity Approach to Full Employment
Central banks, national governments, and international organizations have resisted policies that would promote full employment because high employment and high capacity utilization are associated with structural rigidities that result in sluggish growth, inflationary pressures, and other undesirable consequences. What has been almost entirely overlooked is the way in which public sector activity can enhance flexibility with regard to labor, capital goods, natural resources and environmental protection, methods of production, and location of economic activity. The job opportunity approach makes strategic use of public sector activity to create truly full employment, thereby reducing the social and economic costs of unemployment, and to promote projects designed to be consistent with broad macroeconomic goals and social values.