Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort
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Public Investments and Job Creation: from employment-impact assessments to employer of last resort. A presentation at the Global Development and Environment Institute of Tufts University July 24, 2014 by Steven Miller [email protected]

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Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

Public Investments and Job Creation: from employment-impact assessments to employer of last resort

A presentation at the Global Development and Environment Institute of Tufts University

July 24, 2014

by Steven Miller

[email protected]


Linking development project experience with economic policy

Linking development project experience with economic policy

This presentation attempts to link project level experiences on job creation with a larger vision of economic and employment policy.

Likewise we believe that work in developing countries is relevant to the experiences of more industrialized countries, including those in the US.


Moving beyond the conventional wisdom on job creation

Moving beyond the conventional wisdom on job creation

Typically job creation is seen from a small number of broad perspectives:

  • Promote economic growth which it is assumed will in turn lead to job creation;

  • Facilitate the role of the private sector which is the primary engine of job creation;

  • Education and training programmes: To better prepare job seekers for the labour market.

    In this presentation, I shall to examine an enhanced role which the public sector can and should play in job creation, mainly through public investment programmes and policies.


Employment impact assessments and employer of last resort programmes

Employment Impact Assessments and “Employer of Last Resort” programmes

  • The focus will be not only on promoting economic growth as a means to stimulate job creation, but also looking at how to increase the impact of growth on job creation, in other words, increase the employment impact of economic growth. A major tool for doing so will be ongoing work of the ILO in the field of employment impact assessments.

  • Looking at the inverse relationship between jobs and growth, the presentation will also discuss some experiences in direct job creation: the concept and experiences employment guarantee or “employer of last resort” programmes, including the work of a group of economists, governments, institutions and advocacy groups in this field.


Expected impacts from job creation programs

Expected Impacts from Job Creation Programs

  • Employment

  • Assets

  • Skills and work experience


Infrastructure and employment what is the potential impact in developing countries

Infrastructure and Employment: What is the potential impact in developing countries?

  • 3 to 5 times more direct employment creation

  • 1.6 to 2.0 times more indirect employment creation through multiplier effects (upstream and downstream linkages)

  • 50% savings in foreign exchange

  • Financial costs typically 20% less

  • Impact of infrastructure on output, productivity and employment


Advantages and limitations to supply side approaches

Advantages and Limitations to supply-side approaches

  • Advantages

    • Focus is on reorientation of existing investment allocations: requires no new resources

    • Usually can be implemented by existing institutional structures

  • Disadvantages

    • Usually reaches only a small proportion of the unemployed


Comparing supply and demand driven programs

Comparing Supply- and Demand Driven Programs

  • Supply-driven programs

    • Use existing investment resources and infrastructure requirements as the starting point

    • Works to increase the employment impact of these resources

    • Tries to mainstream labor-based approaches into current investment programs and institutional set-ups to ensure sustainability

    • Focus on cost-effective and high-quality asset creation with employment as a secondary objective


Comparing supply and demand driven programs1

Comparing Supply- and Demand Driven Programs

  • Demand-driven programs

    • Takes current levels of un- and under-employment as the starting point

    • With job creation as the primary objective, explores how to create useful and productive job opportunities to meet the existing demand for employment

    • Often relies on special project management units

    • Issue of sustainability of “special” job creation programs


Evaluating the employment impact of infrastructure investments

Evaluating the employment impact of infrastructure investments

  • Comparative project-level studies comparing labour-based with equipment-based methodologies

  • Public investment budget analysis

  • Simulations of employment impact of infrastructure investments on the macro-economy


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

Comparison of Equipment based and labor based road construction: financial and economic costingTable1

Source: Technology Choice: Man or Machine, including case studies from Lesotho and Zimbabwe, Lennartsson, M. and Stiedl, D., ILO, 1995.


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

Simulation of the macro-economic impacts of a 30 billion FCFA investment in rural road rehabilitation in Cameroon*

  • « Evaluating the impact of labour-intensive investments: the case of Cameroon, » Samuel Yemene, ILO, 2007

  • 30 billion FCFA* is equivalent to the amount earmarked annually for rural road rehabilitation in the public investment budget and HIPC funds

  • Use of fixed-price input output model

    *70,6 million USD


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

Table 2: Economic and Employment impacts of a 71 million USD rural road rehabilitation programme in Cameroon(source: Evaluating the impact of labour-intensive investments: the case of Cameroon,  Samuel Yemene, ILO, 2007)


The american recovery and reinvestment act

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Labor Market Outcomes of Infrastructure Expenditures under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Ajit Zacharias, Thomas Masterson and Kijong Kim

Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

January 13, 2009

A Report for the International Labor Organization


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

ARRA

Infrastructure expenditures constitute only a small portion of the total potential fiscal stimulus from the ARRA. Grants by the federal government to state and local governments for infrastructure investments are estimated to be $44 billion, or 5.6 percent of the projected total budgetary cost of the ARRA over the period 2009-2019 (CBO, 2009).

Note: A broader definition of “infrastructure” would suggest total expenditures worth nearly $90 billion, or about 11.4 percent of the total ARRA stimulus.


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

ARRA

Tax cuts, transfers to individuals, and transfers to state and local governments to support public education and medical assistance for the poor (Medicaid) account for 82 percent of the ARRA. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the effects of the ARRA on aggregate output and employment will be influenced, at least in the immediate future, only to a limited extent by the infrastructure investments made possible by the legislation. The ARRA is mainly a tax-transfer program and not a public works program.


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

ARRA

Our estimate of the size of infrastructure expenditures is based on the information collected by the federal government from those who received ARRA funds in the form of contracts, loans and grants. The information pertains to funds awarded and expenditures incurred between February 17, 2009 and September 30, 2009. We combine the data about the recipients of grants and loans to form a database of 117,282 records where each record represents an award of funds made under the ARRA in the form of grants (116,675 records) or loans (607 records). The recipients reported the amount of infrastructure expenditures incurred in the reference period. The total amount awarded in contracts, loans and grants make up about 27 percent of the total fiscal stimulus from the ARRA during the period. The amount actually spent on infrastructure is $4.4 billion (2.6 percent of the total ARRA fiscal stimulus).


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

Table 3: Infrastructure Expenditures for the first two quarters of ARRA spending and resulting job creation impacts(based on ARRA recipient reports covering the period February-September 2009)(Source: Zacharias, Masterson and Kim, “Labor Market Outcomes of Infrastructure Expenditures under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, 2009.


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

Table 4: Employment multipliers for industries benefiting the most from infrastructure expenditures(Source: Zacharias, Masterson and Kim, “Labor Market Outcomes of Infrastructure Expenditures under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, 2009.


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

Table 5: Distribution of additional employment due to infrastructure expenditures among industries(based on ARRA recipient reports covering the period February-September 2009,Source: Zacharias, Masterson and Kim, “Labor Market Outcomes of Infrastructure Expenditures under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, 2009.


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

Table 6: Selected demographic characteristics of those employed due to infrastructure expenditures (percent)(based on ARRA recipient reports covering the period February-September 2009;Source: Zacharias, Masterson and Kim, “Labor Market Outcomes of Infrastructure Expenditures under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, 2009.)


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

IMPACT OF INFRASTRUCTURE

INVESTMENTS ON

EMPLOYMENT AND

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN THE

U.S. ECONOMY

BY J O S H B I V E N S

Economic Policy Institute

(2014)


Impact of infrastructure investments on employment and economic activity in the u s economy

IMPACT OF INFRASTRUCTUREINVESTMENTS ON EMPLOYMENT ANDECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN THE U.S. ECONOMY

Scenario one cancels scheduled cuts stemming from the budget “sequester” automatic, across the board cuts to discretionary spending called for in the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011). Under scenario one, a debt-financed $18 billion annual investment in infrastructure yields a $29 billion increase in GDP and 216,000 net new jobs by the end of the first year, with the increased levels then sustained over the next decade.

Note: As of January 2014, a third of the scheduled sequester cuts were cancelled for the next two years only.


Impact of infrastructure investments on employment and economic activity in the u s economy1

IMPACT OF INFRASTRUCTUREINVESTMENTS ON EMPLOYMENT ANDECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN THE U.S. ECONOMY

Under scenario two, a debt-financed package of green investments totaling $92 billion annually boosts GDP by $147 billion and generates 1.1 million net new jobs by the end of the first year, with the increased levels then sustained over the next decade.


Impact of infrastructure investments on employment and economic activity in the u s economy2

IMPACT OF INFRASTRUCTUREINVESTMENTS ON EMPLOYMENT ANDECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN THE U.S. ECONOMY

Scenario two implements a package of green investments that includes a large increase in investments in the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings and upfront investments to construct a national “smart grid,” yielding $92 billion annually in infrastructure investments over the next decade.


Impact of infrastructure investments on employment and economic activity in the u s economy3

IMPACT OF INFRASTRUCTUREINVESTMENTS ON EMPLOYMENT ANDECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN THE U.S. ECONOMY

Scenario three makes an ambitious investment in largely traditional infrastructure projects in transportation and utilities (particularly water treatment, distribution, and sewage systems) to nearly close the U.S. “infrastructure deficit” identified by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and yield $250 billion annually in infrastructure investment between now and 2020.


Impact of infrastructure investments on employment and economic activity in the u s economy4

IMPACT OF INFRASTRUCTUREINVESTMENTS ON EMPLOYMENT ANDECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN THE U.S. ECONOMY

Under scenario three, a debt-financed $250 billion annual investment boosts GDP by $400 billion and overall employment by 3 million net new jobs by the end of the first year, with the increased levels then sustained over the seven-year life of the investment.


Impact of infrastructure investments on employment and economic activity in the u s economy5

IMPACT OF INFRASTRUCTUREINVESTMENTS ON EMPLOYMENT ANDECONOMIC ACTIVITY IN THE U.S. ECONOMY

Under all scenarios, jobs created are disproportionately male, Latino, and skewed away from younger workers.


Public investments and job creation from employment impact assessments to employer of last resort

Part II:Demand-driven public employment programs:Employment guarantee programs and the concept of employer of last resort.


Economic advantages of an elr

Economic Advantages of an ELR

Improves and maintain levels of aggregate demand

Improves income distribution

Struggles against poverty and exclusion

Fixes a minimum wage for the formal and the informal sector

It is counter cyclical

33


Concept of employer of last resort

Concept of Employer of Last Resort

  • Offers a job to anyone of legal working age who is willing and able to work

  • Will make a commitment to work in useful social and productive activities

  • Free entrance and exit to the program

  • Provides a uniform compensation package at a fixed minimum wage

  • Takes workers « as they are »

  • Links training with all activities


Objections to elr

Objections to ELR

  • Affordability: Governments can’t afford to make an open-ended commitment

  • Will threaten macro-economic stability: inflation and currency depreciation

  • Unmanageable: leads to corrpution, not enough useful work, incorrigible workers


Elr as a buffer stock

ELR as a Buffer Stock

  • Government hires labor “off the bottom” at the ELR wage and “sells” it at any higher wage

  • A wage floor cannot lead to pressure on wages

  • The buffer stock effectively enforces a minimum wage and avoids the race to the bottom which is represented by the informal economy

  • Hence ELR stabilized wages, production costs, incomes, consumption, prices and currency


The jefes de hogar program of argentina

The Jefes de Hogar program of Argentina

Was implemented after the 2001-02 crisis

Massive devaluation and 25% of unemployment rate.

Poverty above 50% of the total population

Aimed to provide a job to unemployed people willing to devote 20 hours per week

Centralized administration of the program

Projects at local level

Participation of civil society


Plan jefes de hogar desempleados

Plan Jefes de HogarDesempleados

2.4 million beneficiaries at the peak in 2004

Total Cost:

0.92% of GDP

4.9% of Federal Budget

Coverage:

16% of the all households nationwide

In some provinces, 40% of households

Very young population: 47% below 35 years old

71% female of which 60% female headed households (single parent)


82 are engaged in work

82% are engaged in work


Typical activities

Typical activities

Production:

Bakery, Clothing, Bricks, Community farms

Construction and self construction

At individual level or cooperatives

Production of services

Childcare, Elderly car

Teaching assistance

Community and school kitchens

Health programs support

Education and vocational training


National rural employment guarantee act in india

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India

  • 30.72 million households in 330 districts were provided work compared to the demand received from 30.88 million households (99.5% which is a great achievement)

    • Average of 93,090 households per district

  • On average, 39.21 person-days of work were provided per household versus the promised "guarantee" of 100 days of work for each household (i.e. 39.2 %) caused by lack of awareness, inadequate capacity to deliver, and the fact that the program is only two years old.

    • However in total 2.1 million households have completed 100 days of work


National rural employment guarantee act in india1

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India

  • The number of days of employment provided is not limited by the ability to finance the program, but rather defined as a right by legislation

  • The present expenditure figure represents about 0.4% of GDP

  • As the program is scaled up to meet its targets, these expenditures would not go beyond 1% of GDP, largely affordable for the Indian economy

  • Approximately US$ 8.52 million (393.58 million rupees) total costs was spent per district

  • Between 60 and 70% is spent on labor costs


Economists for full employment

Economists for Full Employment

For further information on public and “employer of last resort”programmes, see:

  • The Economists for Full Employment Network at:

    http://www.economistsforfullemployment.org/

    Thank you!

    Steven Miller

    [email protected]


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