With high unemployment in many pockets of the country, as well as stagnant wages and paltry benefits across the economy, it’s time for the federal government to seriously consider the feasibility of a federal jobs guarantee. A limited pilot program to study this idea across the country is a relatively low-risk starting point to assess a federal jobs guarantee. By creating new employment opportunities, this bill would also help lift its pilot communities out of poverty.
While politically appealing to the Democratic base, a federal jobs guarantee simply isn’t feasible at the national level as it would be extremely expensive and difficult to match workers with jobs. Rather than wasting political capital and federal dollars on a pilot program that’ll never yield a national-level program, it’d be far better to focus legislators’ efforts on other proposals that raise incomes, reduce wealth inequality, and boost employment in order to lift communities out of poverty.