The world’s first universal jobs guarantee experiment, designed by Oxford University economists and run by the Austrian Public Employment Service, has been running in the Austrian town of Marienthal.

The scheme is unique in offering a universal guarantee of a properly paid job to every resident who has been unemployed for more than 12 months. As well as being provided with training and assistance to find work – as happens elsewhere - participants are guaranteed paid work, even if the state must subsidise 100% of the wages or employs participants in the public sector. All participants will be paid at least minimum wage, bringing their income level higher than their previous social security payments.

Lukas Lehner, one of the Oxford University economists who designed the pilot study and will analyse its results said, ‘With many jobs already lost and warnings of a tidal wave of unemployment around the corner, it’s understandable that the idea of a universal jobs guarantee is gaining interest. As well as its economic costs, long-term unemployment takes a terrible toll on people’s health and well-being and on family and community life.’

For more information on the scheme, watch this recent documentary (in German but with English subtitles)

A more detailed article on the scheme was produced on the main University website back in Nov 2020. Read it in full here: