Wouldn’t a universal basic income (UBI) achieve the same goals of a job guarantee?

A comprehensive strategy for economic security requires a two pronged approach: employment security and income support. The job guarantee provides income, decent work, and public goods and services to the community.

UBI is an income program that does not directly provide the employment opportunities that people seek. UBI experiments indicate that income grant recipients still want decent employment. On the other hand, income is just one and often not the leading reason why people wish to work (see pages 13-14).

While UBI experiments have shown some positive effect on poor households, in and of itself, it does not supply the real resources (housing, childcare, transportation) that they need to access with the extra income. By contrast, the job guarantee is designed in part to fill those needs gaps directly. Finally, UBI lacks the anti-cyclical and price stabilization features of the job guarantee.

An array of public policies including income support and a voluntary job guarantee are needed to provide comprehensive economic security.



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