Employment Policy

  • Rodney Lowe


The maintenance of a high and stable level of employment was one of the fundamental assumptions of the Beveridge Report and an objective to which all governments were positively committed after 1944. Its achievement was seen as a direct way to enhance individual welfare as well as a stimulus to all other areas of welfare policy. If the workforce were fully employed, economic growth was more likely to be achieved and revenue sufficiently buoyant to finance expanding services. Moreover, if Keynesian techniques of demand management were used, there would be a positive economic reason (the maintenance of aggregate demand) to justify increased social expenditure when it was most needed, in a depression. Economic and social policy would, in theory, be once again in harmony — rather than in direct conflict as they had been in the interwar years, when classical economic theory had required cuts in public expenditure during a depression in order to reduce costs and thereby encourage investment, and as they were to become again in the 1980s.

Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Rodney Lowe 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodney Lowe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BristolUK

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