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Economic and human impact of reduced workweeks on employers, employees, governments, and the economy

Reducing Workweeks to Prevent Layoffs

The Economic and Social Impacts of Unemployment Insurance-Supported Work Sharing

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Fred Best, foreword by Herbert J. Gans

International competition and variable economic conditions have brought the threat of layoffs to the doorsteps of workers and managers in all sectors of our economy. One response to this problem is Unemployment Insurance-Supported Work Sharing. This new and promising program reduces the human and economic costs of layoffs by providing partial unemployment benefits to employees who have their workweeks reduced as an alternative to layoffs. Fred Best provides a balanced and thorough assessment of this policy in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Unemployment Insurance-Supported Work Sharing maintains the income and fringe benefits of all workers at near full-time levels, enabling firms to maintain the skills and working relations of their employees and preventing undue hardships among those who would otherwise lose their jobs.

Best summarizes the history and effectiveness of these programs in terms of their economic and human impacts on employers, employees, government, and the economy. He presents key insights on how worktime and worker management cooperation can become powerful tools for combating joblessness and increasing economic performance. This definitive account of an important experiment in work hours will be of critical importance to managers, workers, policymakers, economists, and those concerned with employment issues.

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About the Author(s)

Fred Best is President of Pacific Management Research Associates in Sacramento, California.

Subject Categories

Labor Studies and Work
Sociology


In the series

Labor and Social Change, edited by Paula Rayman and Carmen Sirianni.

Labor and Social Change, edited by Paula Rayman and Carmen Sirianni, includes books on workplace issues like worker participation, quality of work life, shorter hours, technological change, and productivity, as well as union and community organizing and ethnographies of particular occupations.

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