PUBLIC WORK IN AN INTERNATIONAL AND HUNGARIAN CONTEXT
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The objective of active labour market policies (providing labour market services and supporting employment) is to channel back those without a job to the labour market as soon as possible. Public work, regarded as an active instrument, is generally criticised for not substantially improving employment rate; most jobs produce low added value; participation decreases the motivation and willingness of those concerned to find a job. In addition, the programmes prove to be expensive and make people more dependent on the unemployment benefit. According to the experts one of the benefits is that in the short and medium term the programmes provide the safety of survival to the participants and can also contribute to implementing the other tasks of improvement while decreasing poverty and inequalities. Another beneficial impact is its suitability to make the disadvantaged groups more dynamic whose primary labour integration is unlikely. It is also suitable for overcoming the challenges of structural unemployment and easing the downsides of global economic crises. The public work programmes are facing similar challenges internationally and in Hungary, as well. Our paper presents the problems of public work (if it is effective enough and able to fulfil its mission) as one of the most frequently applied instruments of employment policies both theoretically and empirically, and also from an international as well as a Hungarian perspective.
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