Can the job guarantee really create jobs quickly for all?

Yes, experience around the world indicates that Public Service Employment programs can be implemented without delay. The New Deal programs in the US as well as the large-scale Plan Jefes y Jefas program in Argentina were up and running in several months, while India’s MGNREGA relies on local panchayats (organs of village self-government) to offer work within 15 days of an application as prescribed by law. Existing delays with job reaction in India are due to the ongoing and significant underfunding of the program, rather than administrative capacity (Ghosh, 2015).

Accommodating changes in hiring is not a unique challenge for the job guarantee. Indeed, the private, nonprofit, and public sectors always deal with workforce fluctuations. The job guarantee is designed as a preparedness response to joblessness with pre-approved, shelved projects and agencies that could execute them should there be a sudden increase in demand for jobs.

Jayati Ghosh. February 5, 2015. “India’s rural employment programme is dying a death of funding cuts”. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/feb/05/india-rural-employment-funding-cuts-mgnrega

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