The Only Real Cure for Unemployment.

CEO Social Justice Blog

Unemployment rates in the Hunter have soared into double figures for the first time in more than a decade.

Many people will suffer, particularly those on the fringes of the job market. As competition for jobs increases, some people will remain trapped in long term unemployment.

Unemployment is surely one of the most serious problems a nation and community must grapple with. The experience actually forces people out of community into a world of social futility.

After a multitude of failed job applications, most of us give up hope – some even lose their aspiration for a job even though they resent not having one.

The governments became more punitive – sanctions for missing a Centrelink appointment, compulsory Work for the Dole etc.

The only real cure for unemployment is a paid job; ask an unemployed person and they will tell you, but governments in recent decades refuse to listen. If the market can’t provide enough jobs, we blame the unemployed; how illogical.

Australia’s peak industry body wants unemployed young people to work in the private sector in the Work for the Dole scheme.

The difficulty with this suggestion is that some small employers will come to rely totally on Work for the Dole participants and some Work for the Dole participants would never graduate to mainstream employment.

When the market can’t provide jobs for everyone, we need government sponsored job creation schemes to fill the gap.

This was government policy back in the Menzies era 1949 – 1966, when unemployment rates were around 1% and there was an expectation that young people leaving education would find paid employment and they did. No era is perfect of course, but as a nation we should give a much higher priority to achieving full employment.