Thursday, 13 May 2010

Just thinking......

British workforce is 30m people, ish.
Average working week is 40 hrs, ish.

That's 1.2 Bn hours a week.

The official unemployment rate is 2.5m
To employ all these people (full time / 40hrs) we need 100m hours a week of work to do.

100m is 1/12th of 1.2Bn.

Therefore......if those in employment cut their hours by 1 for every 12 they work, there will be (more than) enough work available to soak up all of the unemployed.

Not only does this remove the blight of unemployment at a stroke, it creates 2.5m new taxpayers and simultaneously reduces the number of benefits claimants by 2.5m

I guess the argument against it - or at least the main factor working aginst it - is the concern that people with work right now will get poorer (by about 1/12?) Would that necessarily happen? I find it hard to believe it is genuinely more "efficient" and viable to maintain 2.5m unemployed people. But anyway, the idea scarcely registers anywhere, even though France went some way to introducing such a regime. I think it's astonishing the idea doesn't get greater play in debates on unemployment and the fiscal crises etc.

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