CEP LSE RSS Contact Us YouTube Facebook Twitter


CEP Occasional Paper
Good Jobs and Bad Jobs
Richard Layard
April 2004
Paper No' CEPOP19:
Full Paper (pdf)

1. Human happiness is more affected by whether or not one has a job than by what kind of job it is. 2. Thus, when jobs are to hand, we should insist that unemployed people take them. This involves a much more pro-active placement service and clearer conditionality than applies in many countries. 3. But we should also guarantee unemployed people work within a year of becoming unemployed. In this way we put a reciprocal obligation on the state (to produce work) and on the individual (to take it). Such a guarantee requires a well- judged mix of subsidies, supported work, and training. 4. Where there is low pay, the correct response is in-work benefits, together with a longterm strategy to reduce low skill.