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Reducing unemployment via job sharing

from Grazia Ietto-Gillies   

I agree entirely with the arguments by Dean Baker on job sharing (Nov 3d). The economic advantages of reducing unemployment via job sharing are overwhelming. Government expenditure could be used to keep people in work rather than out of work. In the medium to long term this would also lead to fewer social problems (crime rates; health problems) and thus to lower expenditure to meet those problems. It would be an excellent scheme also for Britain.

However, I fear that politically it may be unacceptable. The anglo-saxon model of capitalism has been for too long based on shifting costs and flexibility to the labour market and the workers for such a scheme to be accepted. Employers and the politicians of the right and centre-right may fear that, once a shorter week is introduced as a remedy for the recession, the employees may get used to it and demand it permanently.

However, we should continue to press for it and insist that economic sense should prevail.

Grazia Ietto-Gillies

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