Full employment, as it is understood in classical economics, means the level of unemployment has reached a level so low that virtually any person who is seeking work can find it. The advantages of full employment in any society are very large, and there are a number of significant benefits. The ways to achieve full employment are hotly debated and stand at the center of much economic debate.
Mobilization of Resources
The labor force of any country is its greatest resource. The quickest means of creating wealth and a highly sustainable economy is by receiving the labor of as many contributing individuals as possible. Full employment means that all persons capable of contributing to a nation's wealth are being utilized. If an economic system is not achieving full employment, it means that it is not fully mobilizing the resources available to the society.
Perhaps the major source of most social discontent is the issue of long term unemployment. It has been shown that populations with long term underemployment also tend to be those with higher crime rates and other social discontents. Many revolutions throughout history have been blamed on unemployment. Full employment makes a peaceful society much more possible as there is less reason for citizens to feel discontent. Social harmony is a major advantage of full employment.
For everyone in a society to have an equal chance at success in life there must be an equal chance of everyone finding employment and receiving the ability to advance through work. A major cause of social inequality is the failure to achieve full employment, as this creates a segment of the population which does not have access to the normal methods of economic advancement. Social equality is a goal closely linked with full employment.
The best way to improve a persons economic well being is by giving him or her a job which will allow them to generate their own wealth for their own use. Long term full employment would provide an opportunity for the impoverished to escape poverty.
- New York Times: Chasing Full Employment
- Economic Policy Institute: Full employment- Don’t give it up without a fight
- Colorado University: What is the Full Employment Rate of Unemployment?
- Ludwig Von Mises Institute: The Principle of Sound Money
- Bloomberg: Meyer Sees No Return to ‘Full’ Employment Until 2015
- BBC: German minister says full employment "possible soon"
Casey Reader started writing freelance in 2010. His work appears on eHow, focusing on topics in history and culture. Aside from freelance work, Reader is actively pursuing a career in creative writing. He graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana with a Bachelor of the Arts in history and English literature.